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One wrong can cancel a lifetime of right

Out on a LimbRoss L. TalbottGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

“The evil that men do lives after them but the good is oft entered with their bones,” so said Mark Anthony in his eulogy to Caesar. To put it another way, bad judgments or mistakes always trump the good.My years on the school board caused me to realize that you could do a thousand things right, but if you do one screw-up as perceived by someone, all that good goes down the drain. It takes a lot of self-control when you have a few people yelling at you to keep in mind there is a big world out there that is full of people who don’t know, don’t care or maybe even agree with what you do.You can help, befriend and do things for someone for years, but if somewhere along the way you are stupid or inconsiderate, all the good is suddenly canceled. It’s as if someone pulled the lever and all your love and caring disappears down the tubes – forever.

Politicians and others in leadership positions suffer from this phenomenon. The economy is good, the dollar is strong, domestic terrorism has been stopped, highways are great, Social Security is still good, and yet because of some people’s perception regarding the Iraq war on terrorism, President Bush is cited as the “worst president we’ve ever had.” Not to mention the fact that he’s working with a hostile majority in the legislature.Consider that the rate of violent deaths in Washington, D.C., is greater than our troop deaths in the Iraq campaign. Maybe we should pull out of D.C.It is a wise person who can remain objective. This is especially difficult when you consider that the media are the quickest ones to play the evil trump card. They are the chicken-little running around yelling, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” They feed on tragedy, violence and destruction like carrion crows. There is very little balance. If a town has a mud flow or fire, that’s all you see on the news. You are left with the impression that it’s all bad.During Katrina, how much coverage did they give the people and agencies that were standing strong and doing good? Very little! How much coverage did Texas get? They handled their problem so the media didn’t go there.

Nowhere is this principle more destructive than in marriage, family and other personal relationships.A friend of mine used to say that his wife had total grievance recall. How much better if she had total kindness recall!The Scripture says, “God, through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself. Therefore we have this ministry of reconciliation.” One who cannot forgive lives with the agony and bitterness which can even be a contributor to bad health. How much richer our lives are when we can forgive and move on.



Continually waving the trump card is an effort to control. The media tries to get your attention and control by capitalizing on people’s fascination with evil and destruction. Spouses often flash the trump card to control the relationship.I say burn the trump card, heal the wounds, repent of unforgiveness and focus on the good that men do. May you get what you give!Ross L. Talbott lives in New Castle.


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