I was sitting here thinking random thoughts this morning, when it occurred to me what a very strange people we are in so many ways.
We claim to be a “Christian” country, yet only between 20% and 40% (depending where you look) of our people attend church regularly.
We put a admitted sexual predator, con-man, liar, and narcissist into the highest office in our land, but we do not want “them feroners” in our country, much less our neighborhood. What is even more sad is that some of the most fervent objectors claim to be some of those “good Christians”. This is not to be taken as a slam against any church or those are truly are good Christians. This is just something I see as an anomaly.
For over a century of our history, this country has had a disproportionate distribution of wealth. It strikes me that this seems to indicate that the basis of our economy is slanted towards money making money and the working man just getting by. Sometimes for a Democratic Republic, we don’t seem terribly democratic.
We say we want better education and social services (taking care of the poor and the old) in our system, yet the first places costs are cut by governments seem to be in education and social services.
Does discussion still exist? Seems to me far too often it declines into rancor. Can people disagree and yet get along?
Our society expects our women to have perfect bodies (as defined by that infamous “they” I think), and paint their faces to please men. Yet, we fear or hate people whose skin is naturally “painted” a color different than ours. We applaud some for maintaining individuality and sticking to their “roots”, yet we will not tolerate differences in culture or beliefs in far too many.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” The Statue of Liberty We’ve heard that before, haven’t we? Why can’t we seem to really listen to it, to truly hear it? We have this “we’re here now, let the rest be damned” attitude.
I remember when I was a kid and we played outside and ran around the neighborhood with the only real requirement being that we be home at a specific time. Were there no sexual predators then? Why were kids safe on the street then, but no longer are? Seems like a downhill slide to me.
And remember when we had to deal with our teachers, to listen and obey because they were figures of authority? Remember when mom and dad didn’t come running to our defense whenever we were criticized by figures in authority?
Some of you might well be wondering if I feel this way why don’t I just move to some other country? Let me tell you why – this IS my country, but I fear it has strayed far off the path our forefathers saw for us. I fear it now brings out the worst that is in us, not the best. I fear that we no longer care “what we can do for our country, not what our country can do for us”. I fear too many of our politicians have forgotten the original purpose of their existence, and have substituted that purpose with the accumulation of power and money – let the people be damned. I fear that, as a people, we too often accept words we hear from others without checking their basis in fact before we spout them forward as truth. We distrust the press and those we disagree with – do we bother to follow up to find the truth – the real truth, not someone’s version of it? I am well aware that we have to choose what sources to believe, but that can be done wisely and with thought.
I am well beyond the apex of my life, and I will not have to deal much longer with what we, mankind, have created of this world – but my grandchildren and their children will long outlive me, and they will have to deal with the mess we leave behind.
Our strangeness has taken us on the low path I believe. Can we find the higher path and get back on it?