LAISSEZ-FAIRE

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I always find it a little funny when the General tells me I need to “chill and let things go”. That obviously falls into the category of theory and practice being worlds apart. I think of myself as mostly laid back and less rigid than many. Certainly that is true of the contrast between the General and myself, but even I could benefit from more of a “live and let live” approach. What’s the expression? I think it is a French word.

 

“Yes, I remember the term”. It is “laissez-faire”. Literally translated, laissez-faire relates to “letting people do as they choose”. It is a term mostly used describing economic affairs. It describes a system or point of view that opposes regulation or interference by the government in economic affairs beyond the minimum necessary to allow the free enterprise system to operate according to its own laws.

 

I’ve got the airline “prior to takeoff” rhetoric down to memory. Certainly, I support the notion of no smoking on an airplane including lavatory areas where attempting to disable a smoke detector could get you into a lot of trouble. What I haven’t figured out is the ban on electronic smokeless cigarettes.

 

Reportedly e-cigarettes can set off smoke detectors. According to an article I read this morning: “When South West Airlines Flight 3654 took off from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, no-one expected any problems. But one passenger was suffering from nicotine withdrawal. So part way through the flight he sneaked off to the toilets to stealth vape. But shortly after he, along with the rest of the passengers, had a massive shock when the plane’s fire alarms went off, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing”.

 

Since I don’t have a dog in the smoke/smokeless cigarette debate, I won’t render an opinion. It is fine with me to prohibit both on airlines. Oops, I guess I just inadvertently rendered an opinion. However, one of the governmental regulations I learned last week flying from Kansas City to Austin seemed like an over-reach of governmental authority.

 

As we boarded the plane, passengers were told they could spread out. There were only forty-five passengers. Consequently we could each have of our own row if we chose. The thing that set the alarm bell of overreaching governmental regulation off in my head had to do with where to store carry-on luggage. All this time, I thought each airline developed their own policy related to carry-on items.

 

Federal law prohibits more than two items being carried on to any commercial airline by any one passenger. Of those two items, only one can be placed in an overhead bin. The other must be placed under the seat. Reportedly, even though the plane was mostly empty, overhead bins abundantly available and empty, it was against regulations for any passenger to place more than one item in an overhead bin. The airline respectfully reminded us of the need to follow Federal expectations and adhere to the law. If that won’t drive you to the lavatory area for an e-cigarette, I don’t know what will.

 

Okay, so what are some of the little things that have made me a little nuts this week? I needed hair-gel to keep my wild-hair in place. Just a small tube was enough. I quickly found what I needed at Randall’s and headed for the express checkout line.

 

I could tell from looking at the basket that the lady in front of me either couldn’t read the “Fifteen Items Or Less” signage or simply chose to be a non-conformist. It was a little thing, but I found myself counting the grocery items as she laid them on the conveyer belt for checkout. “Aha” – I was right. The lady took seventeen items out of the basket.

 

I found myself thinking that whenever that happens, an alarm should go off and the lights should blink on-and-off and that would prompt an applause from everyone in the store. Simply the extra attention would be a deterrent from future violation. Seriously, I should let stuff like that never enter my head, but sometimes I can’t help myself.

 

I realize that a lot of folks are terrified of driving in the rain. I get it. I don’t like driving in heavy rain either, but if I can’t safely drive the posted speed limit, I’m not going to get in the left lane and drive 45 mph in a 75 mph speed zone.

 

Of course, the General would tell you that 9 times out of 10, a slow moving car in front of you on the highway is an indication that the driver is talking on their cell phone. Whether she’s right, I don’t know, but she’d tell you that she’s never wrong. That, too, is one of the things that sometimes drives me a little crazy.

 

Consequently, my prayer for today is that I’ll adapt more of a laissez-faire posture on attempting to mind anyone’s business other than my own. For today I’m going to choose to “chill” and let whatever will be will be define the moment.

 

Someone expressed it this way: “Slow down, you’ll live longer.”

 

All My Best!

Don

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