With Christmas but a week away, it's time for me to offer my wish list. Feel free to fulfill any of my personal wishes if you like. After all, Santa is somewhat burdened this time of year. Speaking of Santa, that guy has a pretty cushy job if you think about it. He works one day a year and is held in extremely high esteem by people throughout the world. He dresses funny, is obviously overweight and is surrounded by some odd characters. Yet we can't help but love the guy. Go figure!
Here's what I wish. I wish the executives at Goldman Sachs in New York would recognize that their bonuses this year - $100 million each for the top executives, $50 million each for the mid-level managers and a paltry $25 million each for the lower level managers - are obscenely extravagant. I am a full-fledged capitalist who believes the free market system works. But I also believe that when you get to that level of compensation, you actually owe something in return to society and those less fortunate.
I wish that Matt Blunt and Jay Nixon would not begin their campaigns for governor in 2006 when the election is still two years away. Missourians, I believe, want good government and fair government. I don't want to listen to constant campaigning for the next two years and I wish they would do their jobs and give us all a break.
I wish that our friends in Cape Girardeau would end their quest to reroute a proposed Interstate 66 through their city and instead recognize that the better route is for a new bridge in Kentucky that will connect with Highway 60 near Charleston. I wish they would realize that regional interests are sometimes more important than selfish interests on behalf of their community alone.
I wish that Sikeston's drug dealers, gang bangers and thugs would understand that this community wants them to leave and ply their trade elsewhere. I wish the good people of Sikeston would no longer fear driving in some parts of our community and would no longer fear for their children's safety from an element that deserves the contempt of our entire community.
I wish the spirit of the holiday season would linger longer than just a week or two. More people give more help to those in need this time of year than at any other time. If we continued that helping hand to those in need throughout the year it would make for a better community and society. And that, I believe, is a universal wish.
I wish on this day not one American soldier would be placed on foreign soil and instead would be home where they belong. But like all other wishes, I also realize that our world is troubled and others need our help to survive. But I wish that those we help would truly understand the sacrifices this country makes on their behalf and express that understanding to the remainder of the world. And to expand on this wish, I wish God and Allah would sit down in heaven and tell us just where mankind has gone wrong because somewhere along the way, we've taken a wrong turn.
And finally, on Christmas Day I wish that everyone has their needs fulfilled if not their wants. There is a stark difference between needs and wants. I wish we could all be thankful that our needs are fulfilled because I believe God will take care of the rest.