A thought for today: "A man should live with his superiors as he does with his fire: not too near, lest he burn; nor too far off, lest he freeze." So said philosopher Diogenes between 404 and 323 BC.

A thought for today:

“A man should live with his superiors as he does with his fire: not too near, lest he burn; nor too far off, lest he freeze.” So said philosopher Diogenes between 404 and 323 BC. But is it good advice, and who are our “superiors” these days?

Is it those “superior” beings in charge who keep telling us all is well while spending several generations of future Canadian workers’ taxes on those “superior” financial gurus, who are bettering their annual golden handshake, while the rest of us are suffering for the sins of the few? What’s that saying about the sins of the fathers?

It’s conundrum enough to drive folks to a passel of sinnin’:

Fags aren’t bad, said my Dad,

T’weren’t his fault, he ain’t a cad.

He started puffing in World War One,

Fags, he said, sure helped us some.

Dyin’ friends, and killing strangers,

Wasn’t the teachin’ came from that manger!

Today, it’s puff away till you hurt and fall,

We’ll fix you, if we can, tho’ not your life’s all,

And demeanin’ me, preachin’ at me, is your call,

But it don’t fix nothin’, nope, nothin’ at all!

Oops, nope, that ain’t so,

Sin tax money bins are in overflow!

Booze is another, it’s OK too, said Dad,

Moderation’s the word; else you’re a cad.

The Thirties it was, his family had need,

And planting ideas is the best of seeds.

Sippin’ and tippin’ today is all inclusive,

It’ll solve all things presently elusive,

Have yourself a ball comes from movie and song,

It’s party time all day, and all night long!

A dichotomy of preachin’ an’ teachin’,

And a host of folk with hands out reaching.

Luckily some reach out and break your spell,

Mandarins study it steadily, finding all’s well.

Dice, Dad said, also ain’t nice, debt is yours in a trice,

You’re sure to be eating lots of ‘taters and rice.

Though I suppose we should take ‘er cool,

The cowboy philosopher is no fool,

Some folks, he said, throw too much dust.

So who in charge dare we place our trust?

A conundrum we face, kick the traces,

Or, onto the system put more bureaucratic braces?

The choice is ours, in the usual way,

In a voting booth soon we’ll have our say.

Diogenes was rare, a rebel philosopher, and contentious too.

“Plato,” the story is told “had defined a human being as an animal, biped and featherless, and was applauded. Diogenes, plucked a fowl, brought it into the lecture room saying, here is Plato’s human being.”

Instead, he promoted reason and virtue, saying, “In the end it is in the nature of a human being to act in accord with reason.” But, like us in our crisis, he had trouble finding such humans. He “lit a lamp in broad daylight and went about saying, I am searching for a human being.”

We know the feeling!

A tip of the hat to Diogenes, and any and all the world’s straight talkers and thinkers. The “superior” class can rest, they’ve had their day and their way. It’s our turn, and greed isn’t our middle name. The old cowboy philosopher is as wise as Diogenes leaving us with his advice: “No man in the wrong can stand up agi’n a fellow who’s right and keeps on comin’.”

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