Jay Beeler

Stephen Downing’s columns over the past few issues have documented the corrupt, unethical and immoral conduct in our local criminal justice system. A staggering number of man hours have been wasted on victimless, drug-related crimes that could have been used to deal with more important policing matters.

Then there’s the recent cover-up following the VIP treatment given to Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce in what portends to be scandalous, unethical and immoral behavior both inside city hall and by top-level police brass..

I’ve said this before and I will say it again. The City of Long Beach’s Code of Ethics – created in 2003 – fails to use words like honesty and integrity. Most successful organizations that I’ve encountered in my lifetime often use those words in their mission statement and work very hard to maintain that attitude.

In the 17 years that we’ve been publishing the Beachcomber the Long Beach Police Officer’s Association has demonstrated the antithesis of honesty and integrity, primarily through its political action committee. The pending departure of the organization’s president in October suggests that a new culture is afoot that may bring respect to an organization that – in my opinion – has failed miserably in this regard.

Speaking of attitude, a reader shared the following, important message with us:

A famous writer was in his study. He picked up his pen and began writing: “Last year, my gallbladder was removed. I was stuck in bed due to this surgery for a long time. The same year I reached the age of 60 and had to give up my favorite job. I had spent 30 years of my life with this publishing company.

“The same year I experienced the death of my father. In the same year my son failed in his medical exam, because he had a car accident. He had to stay in the hospital with a cast on his leg for several days. And, the destruction of the car was a second loss.”

His concluding statement: “Alas, it was such a bad year!”

When the writer’s wife entered the room, she found her husband looking dejected, sad and lost in his thoughts. She carefully and surreptitiously read what he had written, silently left the room and came back shortly with another piece of paper on which she had written her summary of the year’s events placing it beside her husband’s paper.

When her husband saw that she had written something in response to his account of the year’s events, he read: “Last year I finally got rid of my gallbladder, which had given me many years of pain. I turned 60 with sound health and retired from my job. Now I can utilize my time to write better and with more focus and peace.

“The same year my father, at the age of 95 without depending on anyone and without any critical conditions, met his Creator. The same year, God blessed my son with life. My car was destroyed, but my son was alive and without permanent disability.”

At the end she wrote: “This year was an immense blessing and it passed well!”

The same incidents recalled but from different viewpoints.

Moral: In our daily lives we must see that it’s not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy. There is always something for which to be thankful.

Attitude is everything. Attitude is the one thing that we always, in every circumstance, have control over. May we continue to see life’s blessings as we move forward on our life’s journey … even on the difficult days.


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