Chicken or egg

Chicken egg in straw nest

Chicken egg in straw nest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Great question for discussion with no application in real life. A better question for our times is are our times a product of our politicians or are our politicians a product of the times we live in? I believe that the answer is our lousy political leaders are a product of the times we live in, but they reinforce and strengthen the problems of our times. What to do?

Some want to put religious tenets back into American life. That may or may not help, based on the corruption of political life that existed while America was a more religion-observant nation. I think that we must go beyond the forms of religious observance and return (or advance) to practicing the golden rule in our treatment of the less fortunate here at home before we venture abroad to spread “American” values. I would emphasize spreading our values by example, rather than by use of the sword, what we do too often now.

If we start to practice the golden rule here at home with minorities and the less fortunate, we will demand that our political leaders follow suit, or lose office. It will not be a fast process or easy, but as I see it, it is the only way to break out of the vicious cycle we are in where the times produce political leaders who make our problems worse, not better.

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2 rules to live by

stasera, fatevi curare da loro

stasera, fatevi curare da loro (Photo credit: sisagitta)

When I worked at the local hospital’s x-ray department, I set two rules for myself and my work. These rules were my own and not imposed on me by the hospital. The first rule was the golden rule; I treated all my patients as I would want to be treated if our roles had been reversed.

The second rule was the 5-minute rule, more of a goal. I tried to respond to every order from a doctor in the ER within 5 minutes. For the simpler exams, that was 5 minutes from the time the order printed until I had taken the x-rays and completed the paper work. Five minutes, start to finish. More complex orders naturally took longer. With a recent change in equipment, I found that 5 minutes was no longer possible; it took 7 minutes instead.

The result of my two rules was that patients were happy with the quick service and care I gave them and the doctors in the ER loved the fast response. So did my supervisor.

If Mitt Romney is the GOP nominee in the fall, I expect that he will adopt a version of my 5-minute rule. The time period in his rule may 24 hours or a week or a month, but he will spend a significant part of the campaign invoking his version of the 5-minute rule as follows. “That was my position yesterday, but my position today is such and such.”