Learned Values

Gen. David H Petraeus 2007There is a lot of information and conflicting stories in circulation regarding General David Petraeus and an alleged affair he had with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. The details of the affair between David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell and perhaps another General with the originator of the FBI complaint, Jill Kelley.

I’m prompted to write about how these types of events unravel careers, family and in some instances, sexual liaisons undermine national security. The national security angle hasn’t been significantly addressed in the media as of this writing, but undoubtedly there is some scrutiny of this because the FBI have entered the Broadwell home and removed computers and paperwork. Their story is all too familiar.

Here is what I’ve learned about human behavior and values.

1. Honesty is more valuable than any coin of the realm be it dollars, gold or diamonds.

2. The disadvantages of lying far out weigh any momentary advantage.

3. Telling the truth is easier than lying. You don’t have to keep track of the versions of a story when you tell the truth.

4. If someone accuses you of being dishonest and you know you are telling the truth, understand they are likely the one that has a habit of being dishonest. People guilty of an offense frequently accuse others of things in which they are guilty.

5. Distance your association with people that are unscrupulous. After awhile their activities will reflect on you or your judgment. The old expression used to say “birds of a feather will flock together” or “guilty by association”.

6. Work through organizations which reflect your values and multiply your efforts. See #5 for further detail.

7. It doesn’t take a very big person to carry a grudge. Grudges weigh too much and they add up and after awhile your life becomes too burdened. Forgive and forget however routine offenders need to be put on notice that further repetition isn’t acceptable.

8. If you are routinely making people upset, evaluate what you are doing or saying and change course. Chances are you are the one that is wrong.

9. Don’t argue with angry crazy people. Sooner or later you may join them and two or more angry crazy people can bring forth damaging activity.

10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer. Not every question has an answer and some questions are designed only to lead you or others to a wrong conclusion.

11. Choose your spouse carefully, even more than you would a business partner or lawyer. If you don’t choose wisely your property, sanity or even your life can be placed in jeopardy.

12. Anyone that isn’t honest in an intimate relationship isn’t trustworthy with their other relationships.

13. Don’t stay out late at night unless it is work related. Most assaults, criminal and regretful activities occur after hours and especially from midnight to dawn.

14. Spend your money and time wisely. Some of the biggest regrets people have are when they don’t manage either well.

15. Be kind to animals. People that are cruel to animals aren’t worth your time to get to know them.

Willie Nelson was right –  “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys

Baby boomer’s in America know all about the Lone Ranger. He was mysterious mythical masked man bringing justice and fair play to the west during the times of Gold Rush and settlers. He was the epitome of the American hero: compassionate, honest, patriotic, creative, an unswerving champion of all that was right and good. He wasn’t alone in that fictional portrayal of those who worked for justice and fair play. Both Clayton Moore (Lone ranger) and William Boyd who played Hop-Along Cassidy were personally transformed by the roles they played on screen.

William Boyd readily admitted before he donned the black shirt, pants and hatHopalong Cassidy - William Boyd he was a shiftless person who cut corners when it suited him, not unlike most famous people today. Once he assumed the role of serial good guy, Hop-Along Cassidy, his life changed. The fictional Hop-Along character was changed from a hard-drinking, rough-living wrangler by the actor William Boyd to a cowboy hero who did not smoke, drink or swear and who always let the bad guy start the fight. The actor refused to license his name for products he viewed as unsuitable or dangerous, and turned down personal appearances at which his young fans, “friends” would be charged admission.

Clayton Moore started working as a youth and was an acrobat / trapeze artist.Lone Ranger - Clayton Moore Moore worked his way through the ranks as a stunt actor before graduating to small acting roles in the late 1930s and 1940s and finally to leading roles in various Saturday afternoon serials, such as Dick Tracy Returns. In 1949, Moore won the starring role in a TV version of the radio program The Lone Ranger. The show was canceled by ABC in 1957. In a 1985 interview with the Los Angeles Times, the actor told a reporter: “Once I got the Lone Ranger role, I didn’t want any other. I like playing the good guy.”

It’s too bad that today’s youth don’t seem to have those “good guy” role models anymore.

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