Have you noticed that one of the basic facts of life is that we’re always running behind and playing catch-up? Let me give you a few examples.

Just when America succeeded in reducing cigarette smoking to half the levels of the 1960s, along came e-cigarettes and vaping. Now, Juul, the company that produces half the e-cigs in our country, has convinced teens that vaping is cool to the point that 28% of high-schoolers vaped in the last month. Many of them have developed serious health problems and a few of them have died. One Juul pod delivers the same amount of nicotine as a pack of 20 cigarettes, according to the Truth Initiative, an anti-tobacco group.

So now this new health menace has the scientists scrambling to catch up because at present they’re saying it will take years of additional research before they can answer the long-term health impact of vaping. Meanwhile, Juul made an estimated profit of $1.27 billion in the first half of 2019 promoting and selling their poison product to teenagers who couldn’t resist the bubble gum and fruit flavors and the cloud of smoke.

The sooner they get shut down the better.

At the same time our federal government is scrambling to catch up to regulate tech giants like Facebook and Google to deal with the sale of our private data, the entire privacy and free speech issues and the regulation of false political ads by Russia and American political groups. We ordinary citizens can’t possibly understand or follow these debates, but we must continue the scramble to play catch-up.

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The list of catch-up items goes on and on. Has the law caught up with the regulation of drones? I don’t think so. Have the states come to any firm conclusions on the benefits and hazards of recreational marijuana and medical marijuana? I don’t think so. We need more experience, more research. And when we get those worked out, medicine, politics, business and technology will come up with new inventions, new challenges and new problems. We will always be playing catch-up.

Simple solutions and simple statements will not suffice. Let me give you one more example.

Willie Nelson has been singing about the problem for years. He’s the husband, boyfriend, lover or whatever who admits that “maybe I didn’t love you as I could have … maybe I didn’t need you as good as I could have … if I made you feel second best … I’m sorry … maybe I didn’t hold you all those lonely, lonely times … maybe I never told you I’m so happy that you’re mine … little things I should have said and done − I never took the time … tell me that your sweet love hasn’t died … give me one more chance to keep you satisfied. You were always on my mind.”

Sure Willie, sure. Playing catch-up isn’t that easy. If you get too far behind, catching up can become impossible.