It came to me while I was taking a shower. Like a bolt of lightning, the realization of what the government was up to showered on me like a spring rain. All this time I have been wrestling with the notion that, if we had health insurance for all Americans, it would save us money in the long run. Well I am here to tell you I have a new theory in this matter. Why would anyone with an ounce of sense want to keep us old farts around? We do not work much. We do not pay much tax. We are always going to the doctor and to get something cutout or fixed. We are always clogging up the interstate because we drive too slow. Quit often we get confused and disorientated. We tend to gain too much weight. We are very picky about what we eat. We pick and choose when we want to watch the grandchildren. The list goes on and on.
Someone in the government who is obviously very smart and young figured out that old people are a huge drain on our society. Anyone still hanging around past the age of…say 65 is pretty much dead weight! I imagine it was a several step plan to remove old people from the ranks of the human race. Think about this:
1. Teach people to eat poorly so they die young and fat.
2. Make it very expensive to see a doctor. (This alone decreases the average life expectancy)
3. Make it hard to get any worthwhile exercise.
4. Promote a stressful environment to work and live in.
5. Create stores that are miles long to keep old people from reaching or finding what they need.
6. Continue to decrease the font size on medicine so to increase the chance of taking the wrong dosage.
7. Inflate the money and increase food prices to the point that we simply die of malnutrition.
8. Inflate money and put us on a fixed income.
9. Promote the belief that everything will be beautiful when you die and go to heaven.
It would seem as if the cards are stacked against me. I am not that old but I am already feeling the pressure to move on. Yes, I am forgetful and I get balder every day but I am still a person! Politics are even becoming boring as I hear the same crap over and over. Ah hell, I should go to Wal-Mart.com and buy an urn or just get an old coffee can and head over the interstate to play chicken with the semis. Sue, I can’t find my glasses, have you seen them?
I have known plenty of great people in my life. Many of them live out their lives taking care of their families, helping their friends and being good to everyone they meet. Sometimes they fly well below the radar in the places where few notice the great things they are doing. These special people do what they do not for the fame or financial rewards but for the sheer joy of helping their fellow humans. Having grown up with few good role models, I seek these special people out so that I can learn their secrets so as to be a better person. One of these people, who I have known for over 30 years, is Coach Wayne Mathias. Many of you have heard his name, and many more have never heard of him, and this is exactly my point. Wayne is a giant among those who choose to spend their careers teaching children. One might ask how relevant is that? How much good can come from such a seemingly insignificant job? The answer to that question is simple. Go back to your school years and try to remember a teacher who helped you find your way. Consider the teacher who made you feel good about yourself when you needed it most, helped your confidence grow, challenged you when you needed it and redirected you when you drifted off the path; well that is Coach Mathias! I have watched him coach; I have coached with him and have always marveled at his ability to make young people push themselves to their limit, finding new inner strength that they never new they had. He was able to do it with a smile, a stern look, a firm nudge or a cautionary word at the right moment. Sometimes he got angry, sometimes he laughed and sometimes he even shed a tear, although he would try to deny that.
Wayne decided to retire form teaching this year after almost 40 years at the helm. Tonight I attended a small ceremony celebrating his time at Capon Bridge School and witnessed the love and admiration he has earned through all his years there. As part of the ceremony his former students read short notes expressing their love of Coach; teachers talked of his amazing achievements as a coach; parents repeatedly remarked about the void created with his absence.
It is an honor to be his friend and I thank him for all the wisdom he has shared with me. I think Wayne is like an old oak tree that everyone touches as they walk by or carved their name in it, climb its branches, knowing that it would always be there.