To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Wednesday, July 17, 2024


Common Good



Sharon MartinSome robots are really cool, but when I have a problem, a question, or just want to place an order, I don’t want to talk to a machine. And I certainly don’t want to press 1 for answers.

Sure, I’m old, a digital immigrant, but does anyone of any age enjoy these impersonal transactions?

Perhaps computerized phone systems save a company money, but I have my doubts. They don’t have to provide salaries and health care to customer service personnel, but what about the mistakes a machine makes because it lacks critical thinking skills? What does that cost a company?

When you replace a person with a machine, one less person’s salary is part of the general economy. Giving the savings to a CEO who parks his bonus offshore doesn’t do anything for the rest of us; working citizens do.

Our society seems to be losing the human touch. Have you seen what passes for funny on too many comedy shows? Some guy does something stupid and hurts himself. Pain is funny? Humiliation is funny?

Mean isn’t funny, either, or smart, but it seems to be where our politics are going. The tornado took your home and your livelihood? I, your faithful representative, will vote for help, but only if senior citizens in your district give up some of their Social Security benefits.

It’s time for us to be human again. No, I won’t give up my smart phone with its handy-dandy camera that lets me send pictures of cute kittens to my children, but we need to spend more time nurturing our friends and family than we do playing word games across the distance with them.

We need to talk to customer service people who can put a voice and critical thinking to our problems. We need real responses from our representatives, not canned political answers.

We are a divided country. On one side are the people who say, “I got mine, now you get yours.” On the other side are those who understand that we are all in this together. We are humans, and humans survive best if they understand interdependence.

That doesn’t mean that good patriots sit on their butts and let someone else take the risks and do the work. No one deserves a free ride. We all pitch in for the common good.

Common good! If we all chip in, everyone benefits. We are all better off when we are all better off. Forget machines that do our jobs. Forget going it alone. Let’s be humans together, pulling together, to build a better world.

Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer


Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.