Monday, November 26, 2012

Honors Forum, 11/26/12

Tonight's speaker was Dr. Barry Morris, current councilman for District 6 of the City of Florence and a Professor Emeritus of Economics here at UNA. Hilariously, what he said to Dr. Brewton's mentioning of his political status was, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." Looks like someone's been reading up on their Ronald Reagan!

Dr. Morris was easily one of our more engaging and memorable speakers. He put a lot of energy and conviction into his talk, and he had a lot of great points to make, even if most of them concerned economics. I guess that's no surprise, when he taught it for over thirty years. I suppose he must get really annoyed at some people's financial decisions and wants to scream, "Economics do not work that way!" I know I want to yell stuff of that sort a lot, but it's usually versions like, "Science does not work that way," "You fail logic forever," and, "You fail history forever."

Speaker of which, maybe I should visit those lovable logic-less Jesus people again tomorrow and give them another run for their money...

ANYWAY. Back on track. Back on track. Dr. Morris said that, in order to love your neighbor as yourself, you have to love yourself first. That is a good point- and one that probably most of us have never stopped to consider before. (G. K. Chesterton would not approve of such thinking failure.) Dr. Morris said our responsibilities are first to those who are dependent upon us- our family- and we are to ensure that they are taken care of first before moving to take care of others. A principle of first and second things, really. In other words, we are to help other people from a position of strength.

Then commenced the economics lesson. Dr. Morris explained with a help of a handout and numbers why buying a Mustang right out of college is stupid, and why investing that money instead is a good idea. His style of diction throughout was very entertaining, such as when his sheet stated, "Crusing the mall is dangerous to your wealth," (good thing I avoid the mall like the plague, then!) and, "Buying beer and pretzels on your Visa card does not constitute proper use [of debt]."

To simplify, I was very surprised that the words "Dave Ramsey" were not brought up at some point during his talk, because everything he said was very much Dave-approved. And I approve of Dave in almost everything.

It is true; you really don't have to have it now. Delayed gratification is a great and important concept that more people need to learn. When I see something I like, one of the first questions I ask myself is, "What would I do with it?" That kills a lot of wants. For instance, while it would be incredibly awesome to have a full-size replica of Frodo's sword, Sting (yes, they sell them. They also sell full-size Andurils), I would do nothing with it. This probably explains why my Christmas list is pretty much limited to LEGO's and books... and a music CD or two... and a Hobbit poster...


...Ahem. Sorry about that. I had to go slap some sense into myself. I need to get this post over with before I have a second lapse of concentration.

After reiterating that one should get one's fiscal house in order to help one's family before helping one's community, Dr. Morris stated that a community is only as good as its citizens. Its politicians do not make it a good place. I suppose he wanted to imply that they don't necessarily make it a bad place. Perhaps I should have asked him why on earth we need two more Wal-Marts in Florence. (I am including the Wal-Mart Marketplace going in next to the Darby Drive parking lot.)

Honestly, I hope the new Wal-Marts fail. I'd also like to know why, after having consolidated Bradshadw and Coffee and put 7th and 8th with the 9th grade at the 'Freshman Center' (which I always thought made it sound like an institution for juvenile delinquents or something), they feel it necessary to build a new structure for the 9th grade. Florence has done more school rearranging around through the years than one would believe possible. Perhaps they should have left the two high schools alone. It was a good rivalry...

I still remember that Coffee lost the last football game with Bradshaw. I have no idea how old I was at the time. My dad went to Coffee, you see.

I guess having just one high school to root for unites the town, but still. Politics is a mess- the dirtiest business on earth, to quote Dr. Saraiva from Set All Afire. It's probably also one of the oldest professions.

I sincerely hope I never get involved in it. Whenever you get near people, there's just layers and layers of stupidity.

Oh, dear. I'm sounding a bit misanthropic here. Time to sign off.

In Pace Christi,


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