Back in high school when I took Driver’s Education, we sat through many boring hours of classroom instruction before being allowed to do what we really wanted to do, which was get behind the wheel. One snippet of advice stuck. Our instructor told us that you can be ‘dead right’ but it is better to be ‘alive wrong.’ His point was that we needed to be alert and defensive drivers. Yes, a green light meant that we could legally go, but if someone at the intersection looked like they might run the red light, we would be wise to waive our rights.
Well, you can be ‘politically correct dead right’ and automatic lock-step with the latest trend or you can be ‘alive wrong.’ Quite frankly, trends are evolving so quickly that it is a full-time job to differentiate between satire and reality.
There are upsides to these cascading trends. For example, if we accept the nonsense that is being taught in formerly serious universities and agree that gender is a now meaningless term, we can finally silence the shrill cries for the United States to have a female president. If there is no rigid, biological classification of female, then there can be no definitive first woman president. Millions of gender obsessed citizens formerly classified-as-women can actually vote on more important criteria than genitalia.
Yet, that positive spin hardly makes up for the confusing and convoluted ideas being promoted today, whether they involve social, economic, moral, political or religious concepts. It is both reassuring and troubling to realize that similar mayhem has appeared before. The human race has muddled through times of upheaval over and over, involving grievous suffering for individuals, but eventually carrying on.
After the horrific events of 9/11, the New York Times, day after day, ran short biographies of each of the people killed in the World Trade Center attack. Almost sixteen years later, I took another look at those writings and, amidst the tragedy of lives cut short by evil, one thing stands out. Relationships. With extremely rare exceptions, the bios feature the person’s spouse, children or siblings speaking of rather ordinary sounding individuals who were far from ordinary to the people they loved. The bios sound quaintly old-fashioned as committed love, marriage, family and responsibility appear and reappear as themes.
Those themes are given lip service but not truly valued by today’s fashionable society, forcing anyone who does value them to deliberately and unceasingly fight the prevailing milieu. We can be ‘dead right’ and run our lives according to fleeting ideas that will be treated like phrenology (the study of bumps on one’s head) and alchemy (the ability to turn base metals into gold) years from now or we can aim for being ‘alive wrong’, by accepting responsibility for analyzing, dissecting and evaluating the underlying truth or falseness of the ideas bombarding us.