Grasshopper Soup: Yahoo! It’s my last day |

Grasshopper Soup: Yahoo! It’s my last day

This is your last bowl of Grasshopper Soup. Hopefully it will go down easy and give you a better understanding of why my opinion was, at times, so critical and controversial.

I took a personal interest in the closures of small family businesses by people who claimed to fight for the disabled and who made criminals of people who were only trying to provide for their families. People profited handsomely from ADA violations that have never been corrected, even to this day. The disabled were not being helped by anyone.

My interest in fairness got me in hot water with some powerful locals when I voiced my opinion on the matter of reversing a community agreement so someone could make personal use of a public site for commercial purposes. So, I got personal too.

But that was nothing. Abuse of the legal system, greed and the abuse of power in general, should be everyone’s concern. Agreements are what hold us together. Nobody wants their favorite institution to look bad by breaking them.

Honesty and ethics are, arguably, the most important topics of our time. All our private, civic and social relationships as individuals, communities and nations depend on them.

Dishonesty, greed and the abuse of power are reprehensible, inefficient and costly.

For example, when a supervisor or manager, or a CEO, drops the ball and fails to provide the material support necessary for their employees to serve their guests, and an employee points out that failure, the superior is likely to take it personally, spread lies about the employee and terminate their employment. That takes time and money.

Lying is so childish it is hard to believe it happens, but it does. You are very fortunate if you work in an honest, supportive, professional environment.

It is a common practice for businesses, utility providers, government entities and nonprofit groups to establish mission statements, charters and employee handbooks that spell out their commitment to honesty and exceptional customer service.

It is also common practice for many businesses, public and private, to act against their own mission statements and charters. If we can’t fix that, nothing gets fixed.

If you are silent and do nothing about unethical and illegal conduct and corruption just to keep your job, I understand. The road to personal success is not easy. Apathy is.

Sharing my opinion has taught me that real community, true service, personal happiness and freedom (even world peace) is impossible without a clear and honest heart and mind, and fair dealings with others — a valuable and enjoyable lesson to live and learn.

I never intended to upset anyone with my opinions. I never thought of anyone as anything other than family — fellow lovers of the mountains who wouldn’t think of hurting anyone for expressing their opinion and who strive for honesty and fairness in everything they do.

Where I come from, everyone is family. We are not afraid to speak our mind, and do not shrink from the opportunity to steal the ball and run with it against the best of them.

Mark Twain said the average man isn’t capable of forming an original opinion, so he mimics the opinions of his neighbors. My neighbors are half German and half Irish.

Now it’s time for Satan, the woman-hating “fomenter of frontier justice” (my favorite) to say goodbye, and thank you, to those of you who called my column generous, real, inspiring, special, thought-provoking and the only interesting thing in the paper.

Thank you for reading Grasshopper Soup. I am forever indebted to everyone for the privilege of being able to put my trust in you completely and speak my mind freely.

Keep shining your light on what is real, true, good and beautiful, and help everyone in the family to recognize and seek those things in their own mind and heart.

Best wishes, and happy trails to you, till we meet again.

Bob Sweigert is a former Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 30 years.

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