American Priorities Out of Sync

One of my parents’ most enduring and endearing lessons was ensuring my siblings and I had our priorities in check, for they knew that a well-balanced, happy and fulfilled life is ultimately about priorities. Priorities are one of the things that matter most.

Having just rushed through 67 blistering concerts across America where I met and spent quality time with musical fun gluttons, fellow hunters, promoters and numerous other folks of goodwill and decency, it was my pleasure to sign autographs, snap pictures and chat with these wonderful, hard-charging and caring Americans.

But I know where I come from and who I am. No one needs to remind me that in the big scheme of things, my celebrity status could not be more trite, vapid or meaningless. It is not something that matters most. Not even close.

It humbles me to my core that a young soldier with missing arms or legs or both would want to spend time with me. That is one of the things that matters most to me and I have been incredibly blessed to literally meet thousands of our military warriors who have sacrificed so much. I have barbecued with some of them, hunted with others, shot guns with many of them and just shot the breeze with others. Each of them has added more fuel to my fire than they will ever know.

Which leads back to the tremendously meaningless and petty world of celebrity.

Because our so-called news media is focused on telling us what they think we want to hear instead of what we need to hear, we are deluged with celebrity sludge stories. Americans know Lindsay Lohan spent time in jail, that Paris Hilton was recently busted for possessing cocaine, and that Mel Gibson left some angry messages on his former girlfriend’s phone. If these stories were food they would be junk food.

And there was the goofy airline steward this past August who threw a temper tantrum. He reportedly let loose with a volley of curse words over the plane’s public address system, grabbed a bottle of beer, activated the emergency exit system and jumped out of the plane while it was on the tarmac. His no-talent, meaningless, temper tantrum turned him into an instant celebrity for a few days. Andy Warhol was regrettably right.

While the media was fawning over the “stressed-out” airline steward, someone who truly mattered the most was being laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery yet no one heard about him. Instead, we heard incessantly about Lindsay Lohan going to jail. It shouldn’t be this way.

This past August David Dolby died at age 64 within just a couple of days of airline steward “story” breaking.

Mr. Dolby’s passing wasn’t reported by the national news. No one talked about him. No one heard about him, including me until I was forwarded an email.

What made Mr. Dolby matter the most was lost on our junk-addled media and junk food addicted sheeple. An airline steward throwing a juvenile temper tantrum was more important than David Dolby.

Make no mistake, David Dolby mattered. Nothing any of us will ever do will match what Mr. Dolby did. He is a hero, someone we all should have heard about, his passing covered on the nightly news, talked about for days. Every kid in America should have heard about David Dolby and all special human beings like him.

What Mr. Dolby did was earn the Medal of Honor while serving in Vietnam—and then went back for four more years. Grab your children by the hand and search the Internet on David Dolby. Read about him out loud to your children. Teach them the difference between real heroes and those who don’t matter.

Mr. Dolby is a hero, not a celebrity. The difference is as stark as night is to day. One should be idolized and praised while the other trivialized and ignored.

Our priorities are out of sync and upside down with what matters the most. We devour junk sensationalism on a daily basis while brave heroes around us pass away without so much as registering a blip on the media’s radar screen. This is the perverted, crazy, tailspin reality America finds itself.

Mr. Dolby’s grave will be marked with an alabaster cross like the thousands of others that cover the hallowed ground at Arlington National Cemetery. He rests with others who matter the most.

God bless the heroes. God bless David Dolby.