ONCE UPON A TIME…
Now, when a story begins like that we all understand it is likely not a real story, but one with a message. An important message.
Once upon a time, there was a rural school district located in a very mountainous region. The most experienced bus driver was retiring, so the school board had to search for a new driver. The superintendent had an idea to find the best person for the job.
An ad was placed in area newspapers, and several drivers responded. The board reviewed the applicants and narrowed the search down to just three. The superintendent then made arrangements for the three applicants and the school board to meet at the bottom of a mountain road. The road was a twisting, winding path down a mountain pass, with a sheer cliff on one side, and a rock wall on the other. It was the most dangerous road in the district.
The superintendent addressed the applicants, “The three of you are very qualified drivers, and this has been a difficult decision. Each of you will have a chance to show us just how good a driver you are. You will start at the top of the pass. Each of you will then drive a bus down the road; however, the speed at which you drive will be a consideration in our choice.”
The first driver tore down the road, at times the tires were a mere twelve inches from the edge of the road throwing gravel from the shoulder into the ravine below. It was an amazing display of driving skill, and the other drivers knew they had their work cut out for them.
Driver number two threw caution to the wind. Driving within six inches of the edge at times, he was able to cut the first driver’s time by nearly a minute. The smile on the first driver’s face faded as he realized he’d been outdone, and driver two knew there was no way anyone could beat what he’d just accomplished.
The third driver began his trip down the treacherous road. He carefully steered the large bus down the steep grade, giving a wide berth to the steep dropoff on one side, and downshifting to prevent overheating the brakes. As he pulled into the area where people were waiting, driver two knew he’d certainly won the job.
The superintendent conferred with the board briefly and then approached the applicants. “I want to thank each of you for applying for this job. While each of you is highly qualified, only one of you can be hired.”
Driver two was bursting in anticipation as the superintendent continued, “When the first applicant flew down that road, we were amazed. But when the second was even faster, we could hardly believe it!”
Turning to Driver number three, the superintendent said, “Congratulations, you are our choice.” To the other drivers, he said, “Please understand, this bus carries our children and taking risk is not acceptable. When I told you that speed would be a consideration in our choice, you made an incorrect assumption that we wanted that speed to be fast.”
This story came to mind as I saw the various responses to Mike Pence and his wife, Karen. My wife and I made a similar pact. As an airline pilot flying all over the world, opportunities and temptations are numerous. Rather than take the risky race down the mountain, we picked the cautious path.
I have seen incidents where people simply succumbed to the temptation of the moment. I have seen situations where lies were told and accusations made which ruined lives and relationships. Avoiding being alone with a member of the opposite sex simply removes those possibilities. Billy Graham’s organization always used shared rooms besides never being alone with another of the opposite sex to add another layer of safety to the situation.
I read one article where it said this practice was detrimental to the potential futures of women as it restricted access to important people. The “what if’s” came flooding out, “Would he meet privately with Merkel or May? What about this or that?” For some reason, not only do progressives fail to understand this sense of values and morals, they feel an additional need to destroy them.
In February I wrote a two-part article entitled “A Bridge Too Far.” I believe most of the problems we face today are due to our society’s abandonment of the virtues and morals upon which the Republic was founded. Just as evil and righteousness cannot coexist, and as darkness and light cannot coexist, progressive values (or lack thereof) and those upon which the Republic was founded, cannot coexist.
While we argue over the frosting on the cake, or whether we make a sheet cake, three-layer cake, or cupcakes, the fundamentals have been changed, and in reality, the cake batter is corrupted. The ingredients have been changed to the point we can’t even recognize what comes out of the oven…and we argue over the frosting.
In this day and age, we tend to hire politicians like driver one and two. We don’t need flashy, aggressive, or risky. We need stable, steady, and boring. We need another Calvin Coolidge.
However, until we educate ourselves, our children, and our neighbors, then the arguments over frosting on the cake are akin to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.