Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rational and Reasonable...

That's what I think most people want government, at all levels, to be. But yesterday I was reminded of a lesson taught and learned long ago.

During my late teens through my 20's I had a dear friend and primary mentor, John. He was twice my age, and vastly more experienced. Some of the most important things I learned during that time were from him. We often spent long hours talking, sometimes just the two of us, often a small group of friends. During one of these conversations I was on a rant to the effect that government usually makes the right decisions (OK - I was not only young, but also foolish).

John leaned back, looked over his glasses and asked me what he had done during his Army service. "You were a radio/radar repair technician."

Then it hit me. Drafted right out of college during WWII, John had been a graduate in Modern Language, fluent in Spanish and German, and able to get along in Italian. (For the younger crowd, during that war, were were fighting Germans and Italians) He was also profoundly color-blind.

Not so much now, but at that time, electronic components had color codes. Being able to read the color codes was vital to doing the job well and correctly. The Army in its institutional wisdom took a man fluent in the language of a major enemy and put him in a job slot for which he was physically unqualified.

We always need to be praying in the direction of our government being rational and reasonable, but betting in that direction is probably unwise.