Growing Kingdom People – “Frankly My Dear…”

A highway billboard in my community has posted an ad from a beer company that says “Give a D**n”.  The ad is intended to discourage drunk driving.   I’ll have to admit that ads from beer companies that discourage people from drinking and driving always seem disingenuous to me.  It would be different if they didn’t distribute their products to places where people are almost certain to get in their vehicles after drinking.  

But that’s just my opinion and this isn’t just a devotion about excessive drinking.  It’s about caring.   

About anything.  

I believe the phrase in question is intended to suggest there is something about which someone cares so little they aren’t even willing to put it in the category of things that have meaning.  If there’s something about which I don’t “give a d**n”. it is considered to be so meaningless it’s not even worth thinking about.  

This means someone who doesn’t “give a d**n” about anything is someone who doesn’t have anything in his or her life worth caring about.  Their behavior demonstrates they don’t care about themselves or others.  

But I would suggest this claim is largely bogus.  

People who live as if they don’t care about anything usually do care about their own desires.  It isn’t that they don’t care about anything but rather that they only care about one thing. That one thing is whatever they want at the moment for themselves.    

Maybe the beer sign should say “give a d**n about somebody other than yourself.”  But then that would suggest the person reading it is selfish which would possibly lead them to reject the message.   The message intended is that the reader should “give a d**n” about the consequences of drinking and driving.   

Seriously I’m fine with that.  I don’t like seeing it conveyed on a billboard that children can read but I get it.  

I merely think it would be healthy to consider other areas of our lives that are impacted by selfish behavior.  I will use the billboard slogan as an example of how we compartmentalize our lives to justify our actions. 

Just so you know – I don’t believe drinking alcohol is a sin.  I think there may also be circumstances where alcohol might be the best remedy for a medical condition.   

I guess I just wish more people really did “give a d**n”. That they would think about the short and long-term effect their actions have on others as well as themselves.  In my line of work I see the devastation caused by addiction and the delusion of believing things are good as long as someone doesn’t turn a motor vehicle into an instrument of death.  But what if we broadened our scope a bit?

Why not “give a d**n” about the impact excessive drinking has on our children?

“Give a d**n” that our family’s resources are being used for six packs instead of college funds.  

“Give a d**n” that alcohol abuse lurks behind many marital infidelities and break ups.

And perhaps we could “give a d**n” about those in our lives who are struggling with chemical abuse or trying to rehabilitate and reenter society after their lives have been ruined by the same.

Every now and then I just get tired of seeing people suffer because someone else has determined a serious problem isn’t really that big of a deal.  Or they disregard a weakness others might have and tempt people they say they care about to do things that are harmful.  

Absolutely, don’t drink and drive!  Just don’t think drinking before you get behind the wheel of a car is the only way you can kill someone.  Sometimes death occurs slowly, such as with a relationship that slowly withers because we loved a chemical more than the important people in our lives. 

You can disagree with me if you want.  

But frankly my dear…

 

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About LJones

Minister and story teller.
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