Death Is #2 On People's Worst-Fears List; Here's What's #1

It’s true. Even more than death, most people dread public speaking. Which is why Seinfeld nailed it by saying: “This means if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

And yet, find me an American who won’t leap to their feet to explain why, “I got my rights!” People who haven’t a clue about the Constitution sure as hell know about its 1st amendment. You know, the one that talks about their right to free speech. Mouthing that right at the top of their lungs, people are ready to argue the case with cops, teachers, airport security, anyone in authority that may dare to represent the other half to our rights; namely our obligations.

As the chain gang boss sneered at prisoner Paul Newman in the film classic ‘Cool Hand Luke’ “What we have here is a failure to communicate…!” Kids in a society replete with digital rights of all kinds literally at their iPhone fingertips, may find it hard [even absurd] to talk about what they owe to the authorities in return. Like what…? Like obedience to laws they dislike, service to the country they disapprove, conformity to the institutions they deem wanting, and in general allegiance to an imperfect nation that has been perfectly willing to protect them since the day they were born.

No, that’s not an old-fashioned plea for blind conformity. But it is the very same commitment the players on your favorite teams give to their team and coach.

[Footnote to all those digital rights accessible to us via our handheld smartphones]: As of last year consumers spent $5.9 billion in repairs since the first iPhone. Could it be we’re conveniently hearing from our widgets only about the rights-half to society’s rights/obligations equation…?

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