Yogi’s wisdom we must adhere to

“How many of you have turned off your television and radio because commentators keep yelling at and over one another?”

The late great philosopher Yogi Berra once proclaimed: “The future ain’t what it used to be.” It sure ain’t!

Lots has changed over the last 60 years since Yogi was the catcher for the legendary New York Yankees. Hopefully, in the years ahead, we will experience a return of respect for one another and our way of life which has been a beacon of hope for the rest of the world.

Today, there is too little civility and the public discourse consists of subtle and not-so-subtle personal barbs aimed at piercing opponent’s dignity and public persona.

Unfortunately, Yogi’s contention that “it was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much” is now a big part of our problem. There is little respect for opposing views.

How many of you have turned off your television and radio because commentators keep yelling at and over one another? Where are their manners?

The constant spin crafted by clever well-paid political hacks, has all of us wondering what the truth really is and if anyone is fit for public service. There is the truth and then there are innuendos — which is which?

“You can observe a lot by just watching,” Yogi added. Since the 1950s, many of us have done a lot of “watching” and wonder where our country is headed.

The pressing question: Is there generation of business, organizational, educators, labor community and spiritual leaders and elected officials who can survive the current slanderous public grilling and risk facing public humiliation? Who would take that risk today?

Can we elect people who are willing to argue strongly for their beliefs, yet set aside their personal and philosophic differences to act in the best interests of our country? Will the political discourse return to respect and civility?

The core question for all Americans: “Can we look beyond themselves, rise above personal criticism and have the same strong commitment to make our country a better place in which to live and raise our families?

Since the future ain’t going to be what it used to be, hopefully it will morph into something better.

Here are some things to consider.

First, we need to reject the view that the “end justifies the means!” That philosophy advanced by Saul Alinsky in “Rules for Radicals” (1971) is one of “doing whatever it takes to get your way or win”. It alone has eroded public confidence in our way of life and political system.

Second, we need to restore a sense of responsibility and be accountable for our actions. A wise religious leader once said “when you point your index finger are someone else, remember there are three of your fingers pointing back at you.”

Third, unfortunately there always will be injustices — hopefully, most are inadvertent. Yogi would say: “If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be!” That means we double-down on correcting inequities and injustices as soon as we see them

Fourth, we need to have the grit and perseverance to overcome adversity because we all face it. It is part of life. It takes determination, hard and, often frustrating work to become an accomplish welder, to earn an MBA or build a business.

Fifth, everyone needs a little help from our friends. Baby boomers must be good mentors to those taking their places in the workforce. They also can provide a good historic perspective of what makes America great.

Yogi concluded: “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”

We are at the fork in the road. We must carefully avoid the one which takes us over the cliff.

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He recently retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at theBrunells@msn.com.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

Photo courtesy of Gyros House Mediterranean Grill.
Gyros House Mediterranean Grill closes Friday

The restaurant, which like many has been hit hard by the impacts of the closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, is now moving to catering-only after 26 years.

Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn to reopen May 26

Face masks to be required of guests and employees

NASA selects Kent-based Blue Origin to help return humans to the Moon

Goal to land the first woman and next man on the surface by 2024

Construction worker installs siding to a building in Snoqualmie. File photo
Inslee gives construction a green light

It was unclear when sites would re-open, but employees will have to have PPE and stay six feet apart.

Report shows severity of COVID-19 impacts on hotels nationwide

70% of employees laid off or furloughed, eight in 10 hotel rooms empty

State processes record number of applications for unemployment benefits

Employment Security Department had challenges with the volume

Cantwell calls for nationwide support for local media hurt by COVID-19 pandemic

Remarks come on Senate floor: ‘We need the media. …and need to help them’

Gyms, fitness centers must allow members to cancel memberships or face legal consequences

State attorney general responds to consumer complaints during COVID-19 outbreak

Boeing to resume Washington airplane production next week

More than 27,000 employees are expected to return to work at the Everett campus starting Monday.