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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Don't swing at all of life's foul balls

Sunday, April 17, 2005

I read a great deal and sometimes in that process I come across words that strike a chord. On occasion, those words aren't meant necessarily to mean what I read into them. Here's my latest example. An elderly gentleman was injured at a minor league baseball game in Florida recently when he was struck by a foul ball. The attorney representing the team said, "Everybody who attends a baseball game knows that foul balls are part of life."

Well that struck me. "Foul balls are part of life." Like the lady who spilled hot coffee on herself from McDonald's and sued for damages. Or the people who ignore warning labels and injure themselves by using some product inappropriately. Foul balls are part of life and if you don't understand that, then it's your own darned fault.

Too many people want to hold someone else responsible for their misdeeds and don't accept the fact that foul balls are part of life. If you want to avoid all foul balls, don't attend the game. If you don't want to risk spilling hot coffee in your lap, don't order it in your car. If you don't want harm from a product, make sure you read the label and understand the potential for danger. Etc. etc. etc.

But society doesn't seem to understand the foul ball rule any longer. We once did. Or so I believe. But no longer. We are far too anxious to run toward an attorney when it's our own actions that sometimes bring us harm.

Of course sometimes, too, the best schemes run afoul. The woman in California who claims to have found part of a finger in her Wendy's chili now is backpedaling. She first ran to an attorney but now has dropped her claim. Of course she did this only when it was uncovered that this is not her first trip to an attorney over questionable food at a restaurant. In other words, she created her own foul ball.

The concept that foul balls are a part of life has simply vanished. You can blame a whole host of reasons and, in each instance, you'd probably be right. People go to a bar, get falling-down drunk, have a wreck and sue the bar for "over-serving" them. It really makes you wonder when our society drifted in this direction.

The fact is this: Foul balls are indeed a part of life. Know that going in and you'll be more understanding of your responsibilities. Of course that certainly doesn't mean people will begin accepting those personal responsibilities. I argue that we've wandered so far in this direction that it will be generations before personal responsibility returns to society. And then, I'd be willing to bet, it will be only because government mandates it.

If you're fat, you smoke and you survive on fast food, don't blame some other factor for your health issues. And don't expect society to pick up the tab for your stupidity. Recognize that you created your own foul ball. And if it cracks you in the head, it's your own fault. To assure you won't be hit with a foul ball, don't attend the game.

In other words, change your wayward habits and lifestyle issues and you

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