I listened to Michael Berry recently on his Houston based (syndicated) radio talk program talk about a woman who lay dying of lung cancer (age 78 as I recall) but wanted to smoke. Some of the family, distant literally and figuratively, Bostonians and cousins, did not wish for her to do so (for her own good, of course) while the family in Texas was willing to accede to her few remaining wishes.
The Yankee wing of the family in its know-it-all-what’s-best-for someone-else fashion threatened to call in whatever government protective service could be mustered to prevent this grave foulness of life of this dying woman. She was 78, but of course did not know what she wanted was not in her best interest. My god! How dumb can these old fools be? They wiped our butts, blew our noses put food in our mouths but cannot see the clear light of day regarding their own lives.
Berry went on to the extended topic of how so many people (usually barely out of diapers, though often college trained in such illuminating arts as General Studies) want to tell others what is in their best interest and safety: seatbelts, bicycle helmets, boat cushions, child car seats, and on and on and on . . . The pretext of the diaper-person often is that the cost of health insurance and taxes go up for everyone if these people are not safely ensconced via whatever vehicle of security is necessary.
Paraphrasing Berry, that is so much hooey. The safety-conscious types only have interest in controlling other people’s lives. They don’t think people should smoke, but as for themselves they certainly shouldn’t be prevented from drinking a half dozen soft drinks a day; nor drinking a six pack of beer; or eating a box of chocolates instead of healthy apples and oranges.
I have actually seen a three-year-old on a two-foot scooter, scooting along the side walk while wearing a safety helmet twice the size of his head and struggling not to fall over as a result of weight of the helmet. The fuzzy-brained parents (I call them Tod and Margo-s) have been so conned by the social safety moths spinning their liberal cocoons of righteousness that it never occurs to them to rear their own children with common sense and self-reliance.
It is unfortunate that the flag raisers on Mount Suribachi didn’t have the social safety police to advised them when they sat down in their trenches that they needed to forego cigarettes. After all, they needed not any hazards to their health.