Home > 2011 Posts, About Dave > Being Upright

Being Upright

November 18, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

In my younger days as a Marine and then a Navy man, the notion of being upright had more to do with the wee hours of the morning and liberty or shore leave than it did with a moral code. Things were simple for a lad in the service back then: don’t lie, cheat or steal and don’t tolerate those who do. What more was there?

When I became a Civil Engineer Corps officer and dealt with the jackal-infested world of government contracting (think Solyndra, but daily), the Navy was kind enough to add, “Even the appearance of wrongdoing is grounds for court martial.” That was helpful, especially in places where corruption is a way of life, like some parts of Asia, all of the Arab world and, of course, Chicago.

But, in the modern world, aspiring to a standard of any sort is so ignorant and judgmental.

By the way, have you noticed that the word ‘judgmental’ has replaced the word ‘judgment’ in most uses even though they are pretty much antonyms? It’s just as if we used ‘realistic’ to mean ‘real’ or ‘investment’ to mean ‘tax’ or ‘payoff’. How absurd, as if that could ever happen.

In any case, while I was half-watching and OWS story on TV telling me once more that filth, vandalism, assault and sedition were ‘Democracy in Action’ and reading a book, one of the Occupados started to expound on things that everyone owed him. Ironically, at just that moment, I read this quote from Marcus Aurelius, stoic philosopher, general, defeater of barbarians and Master of the Known World:

“A man should be upright, not be kept upright.”

Yup.

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