Monday, October 20, 2008

Stevens Takes the Long View

From Senator Ted Stevens corruption trial:

Stevens has said he never sought gifts and wouldn't even accept a free lunch, much less expensive remodeling services. But prosecutors say he had a history of accepting gifts — including an expensive massage chair from a friend — and omitting them from the financial disclosure forms.

He said he considered that chair a loan.

"And the chair is still at your house?" prosecutor Brenda Morris asked.

"Yes," Stevens said.

"How is that not a gift?"

"He bought that chair as a gift, but I refused it as a gift," Stevens said. "He put it there and said it was my chair. I told him I would not accept it as a gift. We have lots of things in our house that don't belong to us."

But really, in the grand scheme of things, does anything truly belong to us? Or are we just leasing out this space on earth for the short time we are allotted, before turning it over to its next tenant upon our departure? This air we breathe, this water we drink, is it truly ours? Or are we all like Senator Stevens, merely allowing objects to stay in our homes before they are ultimately taken away from us forever?

Indeed, we can prosecute senators for accepting expensive message chairs, but this won't get us any closer to our true purpose: A vain denial of our very mortality. In the end, we're all giving back our expensive message chairs. Thank you, Senator Stevens, for reminding us of this.

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