Societies are not static, they are like pendulums and can swing too far in either direction.
This site is committed to the free exchange of ideas in a civil manner. Leave your flies out of the room. The purpose here is to explore ideas that can lead to solutions that benefit all, if not most, rather than some at the expense of others.
Don’t complain if you’re not willing to make the sacrifice of time to, at least, read about what concerns you. If you abdicate your involvement---you get out what you put in.
To my father---as tough as an authoritarian as he was, he planted the seeds for this work. Did he know what he was doing?
Thursday, February 24, 2011
What IS it about?
It’s not about us when there are millions of people dying of disease and famine across the world. Yet some look at it like nature’s population control.
It’s not about us and whose god is better than another’s. It’s not about us because we’re paranoid and think there are some who want to annihilate us because they have nothing better to do. Perhaps we should review our policies to see why they’re so pissed off rather than us arrogantly thinking our way is the only way. Perhaps going forward it’s time to reassess our dependencies and enabling policies that we now find biting us in the ass. But blind faith doesn’t get the job done. As a matter of fact, blind faith helped get us into some of the mess. So on one hand it’s not about us over there; but it is about us over here.
We’ve had a spaghetti bowl of agendas for centuries and some have been at the expense of others. Some have led to our current dilemmas. We don’t even have a comprehensive energy policy and yet we continue to pay for it in multiple ways. What will it take to get the message? When we were untouchable prior to 9/11 our exposure was limited. In today’s world it can’t be about just us---because we have vulnerabilities. We all can’t live in a hermetically sealed condom. It’s not about our world---it’s about everybody’s home.
It’s not about us when people cross borders as a natural process of migration to better their lives. We should welcome them and figure out how they can assimilate into society so we can mutually benefit each other. It’s who we‘ve been, and should continue to be. What’s changed? The conservative’s beloved Ronald Reagan challenged Russia’s Mikhail Gorbachev to take down a wall. We’re looking to erect them.
It IS about us when hate crimes are still a part of our lives. When people of one colored skin victimize another because of a different skin color. When people who love each other regardless of sex cannot be considered as equals---and worse yet, be damned in the eyes of some. It’s about us when certain people are shamed about their natural behavior and they jump off bridges because they don’t know who to turn to. It’s about us being selfishly ignorant.
It’s about all of us when we look to deities and demons as causes and solutions to our predicaments. And when the “almighties” don’t answer, we look for labels to make scapegoats.
Health care, education, discrimination, human rights; it’s not about achieving capitalism at any expense. It’s about seeking a system or a balance that works for all. Tax policy, military spending, energy policy enables a disproportionate distribution of wealth and controlling voices creating a vicious cycle of the haves having more and the populous having less. It’s not a system where the pendulum is at rest. What do you get when you eliminate the middle class? It’s about us when we create “us” vs. “them” and ignore the “We“, as in “We the people….”
Human nature has universals that are shared by ALL people on the earth. Not some entitled to more than others because opportunities were different. It’s about acknowledging and respecting other’s rights to realize their potential. It’s about rechanneling resources to do good rather than destruction simply for a win. Sometimes helping others is a bigger win in the long run. We should reassess our priorities and not dogmatically hold on to the outdated. We live in the 21st century---not the era of King Josiah; 7th century BCE Judah. We should embrace the tools and discoveries that 2500 years have afforded us through the advancements of science.
It can’t be about us vs. them since we are not us anymore when we are part of the world community; we are them too. When someone farts in another part of the world---we are affected. That’s how small the planet is because of telecommunications.
It IS about us when we have effectively 15% unemployed, if not more, our infrastructure is in disrepair, and we’re stuck with ideological conversations rather than finding ways to create jobs and maintain our status in the world. And that’s just to keep running in place.
It IS about us when it comes to international competition in the workplace; not arbitrarily sacrificing human rights and integrity for the pleasure and cannibalizing ourselves because of outdated work rules. We have not eliminated slavery when there are those who advocate the elimination of the minimum wage under the idea that we should be more globally competitive. A job at Wall Mart shouldn’t be the aspiration of most. C’mon, we can do better.
It IS about us with the embarrassing response for a country of our stature when spending trillions chasing lies in the Mideast we couldn’t show the world how we take care of our own; Hurricane Katrina victims. And what did we get for the Iraq/Afghani excursion; the blueprint for the worst recession since the 30’s.
We can disagree, but we can also be civil and not permit ourselves to be manipulated by fear mongers and demagogues. We can have our differences in ideologies but must recognize that it’s not winner take all---all or nothing. No one should win at the expense of the quality of the lives of the disadvantaged or less fortunate.
It IS about us when there are people in this country who have not had the same opportunity as others; and they pay for it.
It’s about helping our children to live in a better world. It’s about helping all to get the most out of their lives while on this earth. You’d be surprised, it’s a human nature universal. We should take the time to understand who lives beyond our borders.
It’s not about Republican vs. democrat; liberal vs. conservative. It’s about being open minded to solutions to make it a better world; one with mutual respect for all---without ideological dogma leading the conversation; without believing that one culture is superior to another or that one person of one color is any different in any way than another of a different color. Those days should be over. It’s all about education.