No. 866



There is an old joke about this woman who tells her husband, “I must have been crazy when I married you.” He said, “You were dear, but I married you anyway.” When you get right down to it, being crazy is a relative thing. I am crazy about my wife Viola, but so far no one has come by my house and tried to haul me away.
Back in the days before political correctness, every state had one or more mental hospitals, using a variety of different names. These were institutions where the mentally insane were treated or just kept separated from the general public. Before I get to my topic today, “A Return to Sanity,” permit me to digress one last time.
Several years ago I heard about a fellow speaker who was invited to speak to the patients at a state mental institution in another state. Soon after he arrived, the patients were all seated in this large auditorium. My speaker friend was introduced and began his talk. After about 15 minutes, a patient stood up and yelled, “He’s the worst speaker I have ever heard.” After a minute or so he sat back down. About 10 minutes later this same man stood up and said the same thing, again, with the same result. When he had done this a couple more times, the speaker stopped and went over to the host and said, “Can’t you do something about this fellow?” His host said, “Well, I suppose I could but this man has been here for 20 years and this is the first sensible thing he has said since he has been here.”
Now, before I continue, let me say that mental illness or mental disease is a very serious matter, and I would never make light or make fun of anyone who suffers from this terrible condition. When I say “A Return to Sanity” I am not talking about these people but rather those individuals who are part of the consuming public who have very poor judgment regarding what they purchase and put on their credit card. The word sanity means “The state of being sane; soundness of mind.” This statement applies both individually and collectively. Believe me, they are among us. We see individuals all the time who don’t exhibit any common sense when it comes to their best interests and welfare, and many wind up filing for bankruptcy.
When we see a line of people five blocks long at 3 o’clock in the morning, waiting for the store to open to buy some new electronic product, it is just plain crazy. In all likelihood, it could be kids using their parents’ credit card. Down in Florida they had a near riot awhile back by young people who were trying to get a Nike Foamposite Galaxy shoe and it took 100 policemen to disperse them. I later learned they could make a huge profit by selling the sneakers to others who did not get there before the store ran out. Again, this is just plain crazy when you think about the value that some people place on things that are here today and gone tomorrow.
Recently I read that Apple had made $100 billion profit and really did not know what to do with the money. They finally decided to pay a dividend to their stockholders. But that is not the issue. The real issue is that vast numbers of the American public lack common sense or good judgment when it comes to going further in debt on their credit cards, while making the tech companies billions of dollars. While high-tech is here to stay, and there are some great products on the market, old-fashioned values like buying what we really need and not having to always have the latest gadget, especially on credit, can save many American consumers a lot of stress and heartache down the road. While this is a free country and we can spend our money the way we choose, this would be “A Return to Sanity.” Think!
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)