Watching the Little League Baseball Tournament this weekend you couldn’t help but notice those patches stating, "I Won’t Cheat." They made me think back to a time when I was growing up and they had the "Just Say No" crew come in and give a pep rally of some sort to us in elementary school. That was a good time to catch us because we were energetic and wanted the t-shirts but the peer pressure hadn’t really started to come yet. Give it a few more years and the majority of students chanting "Just Say No" had turned that into, "Just Give Me Blow".
I am not proud of myself but two short years after this courageous campaign by Nancy Reagan with "Just Say No", I gave up trading baseball cards to selling smokeless tobacco and cigarettes. I never did either but saw an opportunity to make a buck (sound familiar Philip Morris?), used the five finger discount from local stores and sold them to kids in school. It was a good market till someone snitched and I took a five finger lesson to the face from my mother. I don’t think I ever stole anything again after that lesson. Plus I had to pay back the stores. No slogan needed, experience took hold.
I have always enjoyed being an entrepreneur and little did I know as I got older, politicians make the rules so you don’t have to steal "illegally" anymore. You play by the rules and you can do just as much harm. The first non-profit I formed was not to give back to the kids but to help with tax breaks. What’s the difference in stealing and doing a good deed? Legislatures already beat me to that moral decision, you can do both at the same time just play by the rules.
Mark Sanford, our infamous South Carolina governor, forgot about those strong family values he had platformed on for so long. He traded those in for infidelity and adultery. I am sure he knew the Ten Commandments and right vs. wrong. Yet, still he stands as this state’s governor. It just goes to show no matter what catchy slogan, guidelines, Commandments, or rules you try and memorize, if you don’t follow them and let your actions do the speaking, then catch phrases are just cheap sew ons.