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“Me-ism” is the bane of American society


Last week, I laid out some of the most prominent chronic illnesses this nation is suffering. It was done with the caveat that chronic is by no means synonymous with terminal. There is a cure. As promised, I am offering a balm to help heal an ailing nation.

For anything to be effective in the secular realm, it must be firmly rooted in spiritual foundation. While God is the obvious answer, you will not so easily escape your responsibility in how He has assigned you to help carry out His will in our everyday existence.

The secular and spiritual realities are not mutually exclusive. The Bible tells us faith without works is dead.

Let me begin by reaffirming that as a practical matter and as a sustainable deterrent, I do not believe in capital punishment. The biggest problem is that too many innocent people are wrongly convicted in America. Whether as a result of race or poverty, too many on death row never had a chance.

Along with the gruesome travails of southern bigotry, a glaring example resounds from the Midwest state of Illinois where a gubernatorial investigation of DNA evidence among those sentenced to death revealed half of those headed to the electric chair were innocent. The governor was so moved he disbanded capital punishment in the state.

Even the possibility of that level of injustice is untenable. That declaration is a necessary precursor to what I am about to propose as the solution to most of the ills of this nation, if not the world, as it proposes a metaphorical solution to egregious and rampant lack of civility among mankind today.

My position withstanding, I propose the death penalty to be imposed on SELFISHNESS. We need to kill that pervasive spirit that enables us to put our individual concerns and priorities ahead of the greater good.

Some will immediately dismiss this as idealism or pointless suggestion of altruism, of which a jaded citizenship is either incapable or disinterested in pursuing. Others will limit consideration of this recommendation to the rhetorical realm and assume it is being shared as some “kumbaya” symbolism, more to make us feel good than as a strategy for change.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I submit this recommendation for earnest and actual application to our routine existence, not as some spirit that we embrace internally with no tangible manifestation.

If you believe this simple but impactful suggestion is implausible, impractical or, God forbid, impossible, it only speaks to your overt cynicism or subtle unfaith. Ills that afflicted generations persist because society is too satisfied with pain relievers than curative or preventative measures.

Here is a simple example of how selfishness can be modified or eradicated. When President Biden proposed college debt forgiveness, many argued that it was unfair for those who never pursued a higher education degree to help offset the burden of those who did.

That’s pure selfishness.

I’ve never milked a cow or planted crops but believe in farmer subsidies. I’m male but vigorously support issues that exclusively impact women and girls. I’ve never served in the military but diligently embrace veteran concerns. With no school age children, issues in education today are atop my priority list. You get the picture.

Americans must get beyond reserving their passion for their personal agenda and try harder to rally behind matters that improve the quality of life of those in disparate sectors of our society. It not only will familiarize and sensitize us to different people but will create a greater sense of oneness as it modifies the “we” and “they” obsession that divides us.

Firing squad. Gas chamber. Gallows. The electric chair. Lethal injection. By whatever means necessary… execute SELFISHNESS in America and as simple as it sounds, it may result in profound change.

Vernon A. Williams JuneteenthCIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference-makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: [email protected].

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