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Date Posted: 05:46:21 12/05/15 Sat
Author: Denny Whalen
Subject: Changing labels doesn't change behavior

It bothers me that so many people are complacent and apathetic about what is happening in this country.In the sanctity of their homes and the security of the circle of trusted, likeminded friends, family and associates they speak freely about what they believe, but they will not stand up and publicly defend their beliefs or attack what they feel is wrong. Is it because they don't have values, beliefs or principles to defend? Perhaps their "political correctness" seals their lips, or to speak up violates or contradicts previous held opinions, or in some other way makes them appear that earlier actions were in error. Maybe they are afraid to be labeled disparagingly. Whatever the reasons, they contribute to the problems, not solutions.

Labels can be cruel and they can be unjustly applied, but I think of several proverbs, old saws, wives tales and myths that seem appropriate: If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it must be a duck, and a leopard can't change its spots come immediately to mind. If labeling is viewed as name-calling, it's harmful. If labeling clarifies identification, it is easier to swallow. I like labels that clearly identify that which poses a threat (poison, explosive, flammable, terrorist) or identifies an enemy.

If teachers in the workroom/breakroom say they have a challenge, we all know the student being referred to without using names. If I, in talking with my nephews, mention a widow-maker, they know I mean a particularly dangerous tree that needs felling. When I speak of baboons, most know I am referring to Congress. Labels serve a purpose.

So when I speak or write of complacent, apathetic or ignorant people, be advised that I am referring to gut-less, spineless and clue-less unprincipled and cowardly folks who don't know what they honestly believe to stand up for.

I rant best in the morning and make no apologies if I stepped on toes--I am just sick of sheep blindly following a shepherd that says what they think they want to hear, or who uses fear and intimidation to herd them. We're in serious trouble in this country and badly needful of leadership that recognizes the problems and has some definite plan to steer us out. End od rant--got work to do.

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