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Guest Opinion: My personal manifesto: enough with the blame

I frequently declare that my perspective on life is neither demonstrably right nor wrong but rather beliefs that are an extension of my worldview. Momentarily I’ll elaborate on that, but first I’d like to extend the invitation to others — those congruent with me and those conflictual — to perform this exercise I’m about to model.

I was born a white male in the United States in 1944. That’s Ball One, Two, and Three. I had two caring parents and entered the world healthy and reasonably bright. Ball Four. I got a free pass to first base from birth. Now add in a solid education through graduate school, I’m into second standing up. I take third on a 40-plus-year career and waltz into home with a wonderful family and many warm friends.

I take little credit for my success. I have been extremely fortunate and I make no claim of being a self-made man. I was given the abilities and our nation provided the opportunity. I have been privileged to visit some 40 foreign countries and, while a number are very competitive for lifestyle with the U.S., none has been as fertile an incubator for economic success. I believe in our government.

What this means is that I believe that far more of our tax dollars further the general welfare — roads and bridges, schools and utilities, police and protection and, yes, political and personal freedom — than go wasted. I consider paying taxes a privilege, not a burden or a rip-off. I’m not so Pollyannaish as to believe that government couldn’t be run better, but I find placing blame upon it not unlike pointing a gun at your own forehead. It is our government — not someone else's.

I’m sick of blame. I want people to quit pointing fingers and be accountable. If you’re unhappy with your life it isn’t because of the government or some minority (or majority) or the latest conspiracy — it’s because you refuse to own your own life and the predicaments you face — ones that you’ve more than likely manifested yourself. Do something, do anything, don’t just wimp out.

I’ve posted this screed for one reason only — to publicly unearth the beliefs and emotions than underpin each and every thing you hear from me. I have no interest whatsoever in whether anyone agrees or disagrees with any of this. However, what I do believe could be useful is others doing a similar “soul search.” How about we stand up for our greater self rather than bringing others down to our lesser one?

Dennis Q. Murphy lives in Ashland.