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Aaron Johnson: ‘Just a little lagniappe’

Lagniappe is word used often in and around New Orleans.

The simple definition is, “something a little extra.” In other words when you get a dessert added to your meal at no additional charge, that is lagniappe. When we get a little value added to the agreement, we get a little lagniappe.

A friend who owns a successful business once told me that he wanted his company to under promise and over deliver. I suppose that too would be a little lagniappe.

We don’t get much more than we bargained for these days. In fact, we rarely get what was promised. Outside of my faith and my marriage, I can’t think of anything else in my life that has given me more than I bargained for.

I often wonder about politicians and what they are supposed to do.

They manage the cash flow of an economy. They promote the general welfare of the people, provide for the common defense, and secure the avenue to pursue personal liberties while not infringing on those of others.

At least I think that is what they are supposed to do. And they are paid very well to accomplish these things.

An acquaintance once told me that nothing mattered to him in national politics other than bringing home the money. He wanted his next Senator and Representative to do nothing more and nothing less than bring money back to their constituents.

He didn’t seem to grasp what a 20 trillion-dollar deficit means.

When it comes to our elected officials, are we getting what we paid for? Our president has taken almost exactly 365 days of vacation in less than three years.

Before we cast any stones at him, we might need to find out how many days our own elected senators and representatives have taken off and who paid the tab.

When I miss one Sunday people think I’m away too much. When I am on vacation the whole world knows it. I wonder about our representatives in Washington.

Our elected officials at the state level are close to home. They exist under the watchful eye of their constituents. Washington, D.C., is long way from Sand Mountain. I have no idea how many days off any of my elected representatives in Washington have taken. For all I know they are off more than the president. Little accountability exists for our elected employees who are far removed from the watchful eyes of the local press and constituents.

Maybe we receive no lagniappe because we no longer expect any.

The job market is such that employers are willing to lower standards just to get people in an open job.

Our expectations lower as does the performance.

I want to elect people who will give us a little lagniappe. I really feel that we should expect more from our elected employees, not less. I want my elected employees to under promise and over deliver. I want a little lagniappe from Washington.

Come to think of it, I need to expect a little more from myself. If I expect more from our elected employees, then others have the right to expect a little lagniappe from me.

The purpose of life is really quite simple.

Our life’s purpose is to know our Creator, then spend the rest of our lives adding value to the lives of others. I may not know what elected employees are supposed to do, but I know what I am supposed to do.

Aaron Johnson is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News. He is pastor of Christ Redeemer Church in Guntersville.

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