There is plenty to be thankful for

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blankMost of us are blessed with close family and friends, while others have suffered tragic events in their lives and may never fully recover. I hope you are in the thankful column. With the terrible event last weekend at Yolo Housing, we should all take a moment and say a prayer for the families involved. I can’t imagine the hurt that they must be going through. After your moment of reflection, take some time to hug your kids.

It is hard to watch the news or read the daily papers without seeing another politician or celebrity being accused of sexual harassment or worse, groping and rape. I’m thankful that I’m not famous and people are not looking at my behavior over the past 50 years. I’ll be the first to admit that my behavior, at times, has been less than honorable. Even today, what I think is funny probably offends most people.

Some of the behavior making the news should be written off as people being too easily offended. What were we taught as children? “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Words do and can hurt, but should someone’s office banter cost them their careers? I would hope not. Touching is another story.

We interviewed a young women a few years ago and Debra and I were talking about the atmosphere in our office. Debra mentioned that if you wanted to work here you had to have thick skin. She replied, “No one has ever accused me of being nice.” She fit in just fine.

Years, and years, ago, the guy that is supposed to be writing on Page 2 had a back bar with walls lined with Playboy and Playgirl pictures. I had a prospective employee looking at the darkroom, and through a door, saw the back room. She told me that she couldn’t work where there was pornography on the walls. At the time, and maybe still today, I don’t consider Playboy or Playgirl pictures pornography, but the pictures are long gone. We even joked that it was okay because we were equal opportunity offenders, with both men and women’s pictures proudly displayed. Not sure how that would go over in a court of law or with our insurance company.

Times change and probably not fast enough for victims of sexual harassment, but the 1950s were different than 2017. There are fewer and fewer office parties and the main reason is people behaving badly after a few drinks and no supervision.

I’m hoping attitudes evolve at a faster pace for the sake of my grandchildren, and attitudes are changing rapidly for those who abuse their power. The honest people in Congress, business and heads of the entertainment world need to change the culture that allows people in power to abuse those who fear for their futures. I don’t have a solution, but society now believes the victims and shuns the molesters, especially those who prey on children or very young adults.

Turn off the TV, read only the comics and sports pages for the next week, and try and have a good Thanksgiving.

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