The Thirst For Something From Nothing

I don’t watch that much TV. At least, that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it. What I do watch, besides The Andy Griffith Show on MeTV, is the local news at 6:00 in the evening. I’ve noticed that most of the commercials are either tooting the horns of personal injury attorneys or sports betting businesses. Both give the impression to the viewer that big money is coming their way, that only a fool would pass up the opportunity to get what they deserve.

Whereas sports betting businesses mostly feature a well-known celebrity actor or athlete, the personal injury firms put someone on camera who seeks to gain the sympathy of the viewer with his story before he breaks into a smile with the sum that his attorney gained for him.

Gosh! I’ve never wanted to see that old commercial so much as now. You know, the one where the elderly lady says “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Bring on some of those commercials from the past that made us chuckle, but were a lot closer to reality than the present.

Personal injury attorneys and sports betting firms are two present-day examples of our culture’s obsession for “getting something for nothing.” Yes, the personal injury situations have involved someone being in a car accident or other unfortunate occurrence, but the commercials quickly change the focus to the gigantic sum of money that was won.

Last week I was out for a walk and I came upon a broken jar. I noticed that in the midst of the glass there were coins…pennies, a few nickels, and a couple of dimes. I picked them all up out of the brokenness, only pricking myself on a glass shard once, and smiled all the way home with the discovered and unearned fifty-three cents. I only lost a little bit of blood in the transaction but you know the old saying…”you can’t get something for nothing!”

Such a saying, however, shows a person’s age and ineptness. Even our government, past and present, has lent their support that we can get something for nothing. Of course, the future kids of our grandkids will be paying for it, but that won’t take any skin off of our backs. My cynicism is beginning to ooze out!

Jesus said that “No one can serve two masters“, but we’ve evolved into unbelievers of that principle. Our culture has become firm believers in being self-serving and self-advancing. Consequences be damned!

But there are consequences that try to be hidden behind the curtains. For example, at the bottom of the TV screen in very small print for about three seconds at the end of each sports betting commercial is a warning about gambling. If you can pause your screen for a few moments you’ll see that it mentions a gambling hotline phone number for anyone who has a gambling addiction. Not even a speed reader can read the miniature-sized words in the time they are projected.

In other words, the consequences are in the fine print that warn of future devastation. We don’t want to talk about that though!

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