ERROL CASTENS: Mullings, meditations, miscellany

There’s no such thing as “too big to fail.” Trying to break a white elephant’s fall from a bridge does not change the elephant’s fate, and the erstwhile heroes will be added to the mess. Failure is as much a part of capitalism as death is of nature – unfortunate and unpleasant but necessary.
– Where failure leaves off, compassion must kick in. It helps if we remember, though, that the more removed the giver is from the recipient, the easier it is to mistake compassion for entitlement.
– The bumblebees in the nandina seem either not to know or not to care that many blooms they visit have already been pollinated.
What seems like wasted energy to us probably serves some purpose we don’t understand. I’m hoping that a similar principle oversees human activities: I suspect a lot of my efforts are redundant while other “blooms” go untended.
– God must take delight in our delight. The confluence of raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, peaches and tomatoes is overwhelming. Same thing with daylilies and butterfly weeds: They’re so beautiful one almost tries not to blink lest one miss an instant of such eyefuls.
– Anyone who knows an addict or reads a newspaper realizes substance abuse is inflicting severe damage both to individuals and to society as a whole.
We should try the libertarian approach: Quit trying to save people from themselves.
Keeping certain people from trashing their lives is like teaching a pig to sing: It wastes your time and irritates the pig.
Just as Prohibition in the 1930s gave rise to Al Capone and his ilk, keeping hard drugs illegal has given us gangsters all over again – just a different kind, and more of them.
Decriminalizing drugs doesn’t mean we endorse them or that we don’t care about the people using them.
It’s just an admission that we can’t win the war on drugs.
As for the bad things people do under the influence?
Punish them severely for those actions, not their state of mind.
It’s taken me a long time to reach this conclusion – I have watched a close relative destroy himself with cocaine – but one definition of insanity is to repeat the same action while expecting a different result.
– I’m loved, healthy, housed, clothed, watered, fed, educated, entertained, heated, cooled, inspired, washed and protected – and I still find excuses to be ungrateful. Isn’t that the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard?
Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or errol.castens@djournal.com.

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