Outdoor Writers Association of America
This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

December 18th, 2000

Dr. Spock

No, not the guy with the pointed ears on StarTrek, the one who wrote the books on how to raise your children. Remember him? The one who preached kids shouldn't be reprimanded for bad behavior? That they were just 'expressing' themselves. Public schools were prevented from using any form of corporal punishment. If you spanked a kid you could be prosecuted for child abuse. Kids weren't to be held responsible for anything. Even as simple as not learning how to read!

So a couple of generations later, we have the results.

Along came a plethora of new laws to protect the criminals and not the victims. Our government is now faced with enacting a Patient Bill of Rights! What the heck happened to the 'do no harm' doctors used to live by. It would seem they aren't responsible either.

The past weeks have been a very public forum on what happens when no one is responsible. What were 'spoiled' ballots aren't spoiled at all. I guess it depends on what the meaning of is is - or spoiled is? If you didn't take the care to vote properly you can sue and demand your non-vote is counted. Who wins? The lawyers!

If we as a country can't be held responsible for voting as instructed, what does that say? Some in this election say it doesn't matter, we'll tell you how you and everyone else voted. If we just follow the bloody instructions; we know how we voted! Duh.

Before you turn me off thinking I'm going to jump ship and go totally political, this really does have a huge bearing on us as fly fishers.

Back to the responsibility thing. If you aren't responsible, you obviously think if you do something stupid with a rod, reel, fly line or even your waders, the COMPANY is at fault and they owe you a new one. Free of course.

If you are responsible, you still end up paying for the higher prices charged by the manufacturers to cover the costs of the not responsible crowd. In everything! It is a never ending cycle. No one says "enough!"

I realize most of you didn't grow up during a time of scarcity when everything but the air you breathe was rationed, we have a time of peace and plenty and most have some expendable income. Maybe not as much as you would like, but most can afford to fish (and not HAVE to fish to eat.)

When does this turn around? When do we realize no one owes us anything - including a living, special treatment, or a brand new unspoiled-whatever-it-was we broke?

Isn't it time we all take responsibility for ourselves and whatever we do? Isn't it time we become something we can all be proud of? Proud of ourselves? Proud of each other? Proud of the products we produce? Delivering what we promise? Is there something patently wrong with that?

It does mean we take responsibility for ourselves and our own actions. Certainly Anti-Spock.

Enough already! ~ LadyFisher

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