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January 22, 2007 [ More archived home pages here ]

Doing The Right Things

Today's song is Dancing Bear, by The Mamas & The Papas, released in 1967.

Denny Doherty passed away last Friday at age 66. Now only Michele Phillips is left from the 60's group, The Mamas & The Papas. Their music touched millions. I was one of those millions.

For most of us that grew up in the 60's, we had music that changed our generation. Messages of all kinds drifted across those AM radio stations we tuned in on, or from the 45 or 33 rpm records we played on record players. The sound from those devices wasn't high fidelity, but the messages were.

Some of the messages turned people into hippies, some into protesters, some into drug addicts, some into gypsies during their dreams. Some people never left the 60's behind.

On the other hand, many people heard the same messages but took a different approach to the lessons of those tunes. Some became conservatives, even as they play the Beatles on their iPods nowadays.

I learned to listen to others in the 1960's. Listening to others teaches us new things and gives us a chance to reflect on our own current conclusions. That's one of the messages of the 60's that still resonates with me.

On Friday afternoon, a religious person I've come to know stopped by my home to talk to me. The faith he practices is not like mine, but he always has one or two interesting observations to relate during our discussions. He said, "Whatever we do in life, does it bring us closer to The Creator, or take us away?" It is a simple question. The thinking behind the answers could be quite complex. No matter what religion a person follows, my friend's perspective is at the heart of the issues of life. Even to those that are not religious people, doing the right things are important.

Last year, I wrote about how Microsoft violates basic human rights for citizens in countries, such as China by helping the Chinese government restrict freedom of speech. Now it seems they are part of a dialog to change that corporate stance. Reversing bad corporate policies is a step in the right direction towards doing the right things.

My friend, Mark, sent me this link about, Cpl. William T. Perkins Jr., a young man who sacrificed his life in Vietnam to save the lives of his fellow Marines. He posthumously received the Medal Of Honor for that action. It is an ultimate example of doing the right things.


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