He retold a story told to him by a park ranger of a youth who ignored the signs to stay clear of a particular watering hole and was grabbed and immediately eaten by a huge crocodile. The youth’s death was caused by him ignoring the posted warning signs.
This past week while reading several headlines in the Cherokee Tribune I was reminded of this talk.
One front-page headline told of how a young person in the county recently ignored professional warning signs and became involved in a situation that could destroy a promising career.
It is sad to see young people allow spiritual crocodiles destroy them. It shouldn’t have happened but it did.
When people choose to ignore both the secular and spiritual (conscience) warnings they do so at their own peril.
Choices, whether one believes it or not, have consequences. And in this case the consequences could destroy a promising career.
Another headline on page 4B told of the frenzy surrounding the $588 million Power Ball payout last week. This story reminded me of the con editorial I wrote in November 1992 in hopes of thwarting passage of then Gov Zell Miller’s lottery bill.
My editorial, like this story, told of how winning a lottery often destroys the person or persons winning the lottery. In 1992 I led a statewide organization (Georgians Against Gambling) to defeat the lottery.
We came close to beating the governor but ended up losing. But GAG was not the real loser.
Everything I predicted would happen in my editorial has happened, only worse, and this Tribune story last week reinforced my editorial points.
I believed then, as I believe today that government has no business encouraging its citizens to gamble, even for what may sound like a good cause.
I’m not against helping youth get a college education, but there are less destructive ways of providing scholarship funding, at a much lower cost, both in financial terms as well as in terms of individual and family destruction.
My research 20 years ago provided ample evidence that gambling for some is very addictive and often leads to the financial destruction of both the individual and the individual’s family who often end up on the public dole.
Gambling, like lust, are spiritual crocodiles just waiting for someone to ignore the warning signs and grab them and bind them with chains that nearly always put them in personal bondage.
When Power Ball hysteria grabs someone it is hard to show them just how deceptive the lottery is.
Many think that all the money goes for “the cause,” in Georgia’s case college scholarships. It doesn’t, not by a long shot. Only a third, often less, goes to education; another third goes to the winners of the lottery with the other third going for operational expenses, mostly for promotion and for finding new games to renew the people’s interest in the lottery.
Like all manmade, laws politicians can change laws at will and newly elected politicians often tinker with what they see as the lottery golden-calf.
Rather than letting the fund build in the beginning to take care of scholarship needs later politicians over the last 20 years kept adding new amendments to the law — often changing the original intent.
And when the funds stopped growing due to the recession everyone begins to wring hands and pass the buck, always pointing to others, never to themselves.
The headlines also tell how Georgia’s high school dropout rates lead the nation. Not good.
No nation will remain free whose children drop out of school and are not taught the facts of life, including the purpose of life and given an opportunity to study creationism and ponder why Jefferson referenced God three times in the Declaration of Independence.
Why, because he knew from personal revelation that God is, not was, that he speaketh, not spake, and that the cornerstones of America were and are “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”
And for the first 150 years of this nation its students were better educated because they were taught about spiritual crocodiles from the greatest textbook ever written — the Judeo/Christian Bible.
Donald Conkey is a retired agricultural economist in Woodstock.