Seriousness to me means having good intentions and doing your best. Often seriousness gets a bad wrap because people equate seriousness with not having fun. To this point I would counter with Jon Stewart. Here is a guy that is having all kinds of fun, but is also doing his best to call the not so serious people out into the light of day.
Not Even Trying
I suppose this line of thinking started for me when I read Game Change and concluded that Barack Obama won the election in 2008 because he was the only candidate that was even trying to win. Hillary was focussed on damage control for her husband, Edwards was chasing tail, and McCain was so bound up with his Maverick-ness that he could not put in an honest day's work. As the book tells the story, McCain had no money because he felt it was not his job to call donors (he just did not like doing it). Meanwhile Barack and Michelle Obama were having daily competitions to see who could make the most calls or raise the most money. And this is the race for President of the United States! Serious people have good intentions and try hard. Obama was the only candidate that even showed up.
The Hardship of Moving
Marketplace did a segment this week on a GM plant closure where the workers were offered jobs at other locations -- but they had to move. The central thrust of the piece was how unfair it was to ask employees to move to keep their jobs. From the time of the wagon trains, we have always moved to create better lives for ourselves. Why do we now think this is too much to ask?
Giving the House to the Bank
The New York Times reported today that rich homeowners, and in this case rich is mortgages of $1 million or more, are much more likely to walk away from their mortgages than borrowers with more modest means. One out of every seven mortgage of over 1,000,000 is seriously delinquent. One out of every twelve of mortgages under 1,000,000 are delinquent. Either one of these numbers is staggering. Typical mortgage default rates are in the 2 or 3 % range -- this is approaching 10%. The article goes on to explain that borrowers with means are walking away from their obligations because they just plain think they can get away with it.
If we are going to keep our place at the top of the world heap we are going to have to work at it. Seriously.