On the Ninth Day

Member Group : Lincoln Institute

(Wayne County in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains – On the 9th day God woke up and looked around and thought "What am I going to do now? I’ve painted myself into a corner. How do I get out of here?")

Pennsylvanians are hard at work. Preliminary results from the recent Keystone Business Climate Survey conducted by the Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research indicate a weary frustration is growing in the business community. Eighty nine percent of the people polled have a negative view of the U.S. House of Representatives and only 13% of the respondents have a positive view of the Pennsylvania House and Senate. Even Governor Ed Rendell is not immune, only 18% approve of the way his administration conducts business.

("Maybe I’ll swim out," God thought. So He made three great rivers, one in the east and two in the west. "No, after all of this creating I’m too tired to swim, I think I’ll walk." Then He made paths through thousands of miles of forested mountains.}

That weary frustration shifts as economic climates change, heightened in awareness by what some call advances in technology while others might deem us victims of electronic slavery. The Congress has moved to create the biggest financial stake in the private sector in history. We will soon know whether or not it is the repair of the American credit system, a bail out of $770 billion in bad decisions or just the biggest financial swindle of all time. In this turmoil we are constantly on-call. 24/7-365 as the tech heads like to say. Coping leaves us little time to ourselves and less time to spend with our families.

On the way out between the mountains and the lakes there were now almost 45,000 square miles and God left behind long flat plains that someday would be dotted with cities and villages.}

Studies indicate that nationally children have more unsupervised time than ever before. The void appears to be filled by TV and the Internet. The average American child under 12 now consumes the raw violence, sexuality, tasteless plots and other unnecessary entrees into adulthood for more than 20 hours a week. More than 1/3 of violent crimes committed in this country are perpetrated by people under the age of 18.

(We don’t really know how God got out. Tradition holds that at about this time there was a controversy over a snake and an apple tree and the Deity had to leave in a big hurry to get back to work.)

A guy who had his share of demanding jobs, former Chrysler chairman and Pennsylvania native Lee Iacocca wrote about his fondest memories. One of them is that when his daughters were young the house rule was that they would spend Sunday as their day together. He wrote about the drives they took, how precious the time was and the understanding it built with his children in their formative years. His message was clear: make time for your kids.

If you haven’t had that kind of time lately, the next few weeks are will be the best time to make some. Turn off the blackberries, cell phones and computers, forget about emails for a day, pack up the kids and get in the car. Even at $3.50 a gallon it will be worth it. You see on the 9th day God made the glorious colors of autumn in Pennsylvania. And as they used to say in this state: "the memories you make may last a lifetime."

Albert Paschall is senior fellow at The Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research, a non-profit educational foundation based in Harrisburg. Somedays is syndicated to leading newspapers and radio stations in Pennsylvania. [email protected] Original format of ‘9th Day’ published in October 1996..