brother pointed to the man’s leather sandals,rnand said, “You’re wearing animalsrnon your feet,” and then slipped past thernspeechless protester.rnHumor may also help make our pointrnin a civilized way. One of my former collegernprofessors—a pacifist, a supporter ofrnliberal causes, an outspoken homosexualrn—remained my good friend until hisrnrecent death. Both of us eventually realizedrnthat our shared sense of humor allowedrnus to keep alive both our friendshiprnand an ongoing political discussionrnthat was healthy for each of us.rnPick your battles. Pace yourself Focusrnyour efforts. Limited by time, talent, andrnfinancial considerations, kitchen-tablernwarriors need to husband their resources.rnSome issues are too trivial for pursuit. Bvrnarguing at every juncture, you risk exchangingrnyour reputation as a sincerernand thoughtful advocate for that of neighborhoodrncrank. Furthermore, involvementrnin some situations is a waste ofrntime. If Uncle Billy voted twice for BillrnClinton —after all, someone voted forrnhim —you’re probably wasting yourrnbreath trying to convince Uncle Billy thatrnthe former president will someday rankrnamong the worst of our presidents. (Yournwill, however, have many opportunitiesrnto practice your sense of humor, as in:rn”Look, Uncle Billy! It’s Bob Dole! Hey,rnI wonder if Bill Clinton will do Viagrarnads, too. He’d be a natural!”) In mostrncases, though, you’ll want to follow somernadvice from a real Master of the Universernregarding those who will not listen: Shakernthe dust off your sandals and move on.rnCommit yourself to one street fight beyondrnthe kitchen table. If you opposernmore gun control, join the National Riflern.Association. If you oppose abortion, joinrnyour local pro-life group. If you like whatrnyou hear from a certain politician, callrnhis office, explain clearlv what resourcesrn}ou may offer, and join the fray. You mayrnfind that you will derive immense satisfactionrnfrom such commitment. Yournmay also find that this commitment enhancesrnvour life in terms of friendship,rnpersonal growth, and knowledge of tiiernhuman mind and heart. Talk without actionrnis cheap; commit and add some goldrnto our words.rnTake a cue from Hubert Humphrey andrnbecome a happy warrior. Two of the mostrndour men known to me are conservatives.rnBoth have mone’, status, fine educations,rnand loving families, yet one ofrnthese men laughs as if laughter were anrnact of pain while the other one has literallyrnnever smiled in mv presence. Becomingrna happy warrior is tough on con-rnWILL FUTURE GENERATIONS READ CHRONICLES?rnPerhaps a better question would be:rn”Will Chronicles be there for futurerngenerations to read?”rnIf you believe that the answer should be “Yes,” then help us securernthe future of Chronicles by remembering us in your will. Whenrnyou next review your will or living trust, ask your attorney to addrna provision making a bequest to:rnThe Rockford Institute.rnYour bequest can be either a fixed dollar amount orrna percentage of your estate.rnFor more information, write or call:rnChristopher CheckrnExecutive Vice PresidentrnThe Rockford Institutern928 North Main StreetrnRockford, IL 61103rn(815) 964-5811rnservatives. We’re the ones who usuallvrnhave to keep order when the teacherrnleaves the room; who must constantlyrndash water over optimistic, grinningrnfools; who find our blood pressure risingrnover the insanit^ portrayed on televisionrnor the latest robbery by the federal go-rnernment. When confronted by clownrnpastors or cocktail liberals, we usuallv feelrnthe corners of our mouths tugging downward.rnBut if we v ant to win friends, influencernpeople, and keep our sanit}- andrnenthusiasm intact, we need to lift up bothrnour hearts and the corners of our mouths.rnDo these recommendations soundrntrite? Of course they do. But many otherrnphrases —”God is love,” “Better to die onrnyour feet than to live on your knees,” andrn”Don’t talk with your mouth full”—alsornsound trite, ‘et they are true. Do thesernrecommendations sound simplistic? Tryputtingrnjust tvvo or three of them into action,rnand you will find fiiem less simplernthan they seem.rnLet me close with a best-case scenariornof how change may be effected. I know arndoctor in the Midwest who purchased arnflag to fly from the front porch of his suburbanrnhome. His eight-year-old son andrnsome friends from school were playingrnnearby, and Eric called them over to sarnthe Pledge of Allegiance while he raisedrnthe flag. He was astounded to find fliatrnnone of the boys knew the pledge. Hernwas further astounded to find that thevrnnever said it in school. He contacted thernteacher and offered to teach the class tliernPledge of Allegiance. He brought a smallrnflag, hung it in front of the classroom,rnand taught the Pledge of Allegiance.rnThey enjoyed the presentation so muchrnthat the school asked him to do an assemblyrnprogram. Following the assembK,rnEric found flags for each classroom.rnNow, every class in the school begins thernda’ with the Pledge.rnTwo things should be clear from thisrnexample. First, well-prepared and enthusiasticrnespousal of our causes will make arndifference in this world —a differencernwhich we ourselves may never see, butrnwhich will happen nonetheless. Byrnspending a little time, a litflc effort, andrnperhaps a little money, we can make arnbig difference in the world. And second:rnO.J. was guiltv. You can take fliat one tornthe bank.rnJeff Minick is the owner of Saints andrnScholars Book Company in Waynesville,rnNorth Carolina.rn*^.iSSBfc5a«i:*-sv^5St3ta5a?iS»iis*sa&*es5:=:^»J^^^^ ;;-=-^V.:v-^S.–.«.^-.-rn48/CHRONICLESrnrnrn