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The Devil in the Disregard

I don’t believe in “the Devil” that fervid pastors tell,

Nor pitchforks, horns, nor burnings pits of Hell.

No “Devil made me do it,” nor “the Devil you do,”



When I cease to be, I’ll cease to be and so will you.

Our actions are not caused by stars that rose or fell;




So since we’re here together we simply have to see,

External spirits are no excuse for acting less than well;

Full regard of one another is the proper way to be.

“The Devil’s in the details,” we hear the cynics say,

But I say, it’s we who give trick words such sinful sway.

Though there is so much freedom in business that we do,

The worst we do to others should not have license, too.

We let laws put naked profit ahead of human needs,

And there really is a devil against which we must guard;

When legislation paves the path for subtle dirty deeds,

Public trust gets broken; the devil’s in the disregard.

Disregard of others, of those who share this life,

Disregard of consequence, discomfort, and of strife,

To give no thought to what the world goes through,

The devil’s in the disregard of evils that we do.

There is no honor, glory, or future in the theft

Of decent people’s earnings for rampant unchecked greed,

Squeezing all we can until there’s nothing left;

When no one can consume, there’ll be no sellers feed.

Our brokers and our bankers, our moneyed folk say they

Have no moral purpose but just to make stocks pay,

Nor any loyal duty to ensure the public health,

Disregarding masses for the massing of their wealth.

Most schools of economics teach money should compete,

No regulated sanctions should hinder money’s game.

But after skipping taxes, they also want to beat

New innovative challengers in regulation’s name.

Something wicked’s crept into our business as of late,

Service has withered, angered clients pay with hate,

Now more the service product instead of just its buyer,

Having no choice but how to pay higher and higher.

Airlines pack us into averaged spaces tight,

As if we were freight, not persons of full worth;

If you’re over five-foot-ten you’ll hurt throughout the flight;

To others you’ll give hurt if you have the slightest girth.

Sore, now angered, dispirited as we are,

If bags are there, we have to find a shuttle to the car,

Which may not be accessible with stiffened hips or knees;

At the counter they’ll hit us with slick and hidden fees.

Our phones and our TVs, our digital connections,

All require our fealty of two years or a fine;

Our food is engineered to taste like sweet confections

Concocted of strange chemicals no layman can define.

Insurers suction money from our bodies as we age;

Lenders drain their lifeblood when students get a wage;

The planet gets destroyed for mindless greed and plunder;

Blood money’s market grows with war and gruesome thunder.

Is the point of living just thriving without spirit,

Just to make more treasure by wearing down your brother?

There is a voice of reason, if only we would hear it:

Consideration, kindness, from one to one another,

So, I preach, and now usurp the old style Devil’s name,

We sin against ourselves in falling for this game.

The devil’s in the disregard we give to why there’s tricks;

The devil’s in the disregard we have for politics.

If we would now regard each other as we really ought,

Saying merely not just what the market now will bear,

But commerce being honest, laws no longer being bought,

So that, with profits high enough, our markets also care.

This devil is within us when we ignore contrary facts,

This devil is within us when we disregard our acts,

The devil’s in the disregard we have for all but mirth,

The devil’s in the disregard we have for sharing Earth.

Election Day is Tuesday, November Fourth this year,

Make sure you vote with thought and vote with care;

Banish that devil that makes you close your ear,

Don’t disregard your duty to the community you share.

(The last day to register for the November election in California is Monday, October 20.)

Bill Trzeciak lives in Penn Valley.


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