Maybe it’s not the world; maybe it’s us. After all we are not the guardians of world politics. We are not our brother’s keepers. Maybe these people are not really our brothers. Do we actually believe that after millennia of physical changes, and cultural and racial evolution, we are all the same? We are all made from the same genetic soup and stuff, but that’s really where the similarities end. We differ greatly in our approach and value of life. We view the world through politically different eyes. We are culturally disparate and separated by our religious preferences and beliefs. I think this makes us all very different.
As much as we would like to believe that we are all the same our current world situation tells us differently. It speaks volumes about those things that separate us. It tells me that we are farther apart than we are closer together. Even in this country we are separated by cultural boundaries; sorted into financial silos; segregated by race, color and our sexual preferences. Yet for some reason we insist that we are part of a national culture called America. These are choices we make for ourselves; we’re not forced to identify with these unique identifiers. We choose to separate into groups according to that attribute that defines us best, or we can really be Americans’.
Our world is changing faster than we can absorb and process the changes. We think that we completely comprehend these wildfire fluctuations in politics and political climate. Our ability to access information gives us an opportunity to see the raw data from multiple cultures, but it does not help us process the data into meaningful information; information of value that will help us truly understand the implications.
Iran hanged a woman recently. The Western and European media are going crazy over this. Iran maintains that she was a drug smuggler. While our attentions is turned to this single incident in the Middle East, how many people died in Europe and America of starvation, drug over-dose, murder, and suicide? Yet this one woman captures the headlines because she was executed in Iran.
It’s unfortunate that we allow our attentions to turn to a world far away in order to avoid looking at what we have close at hand. We look to foreign places to avoid dealing with the problems closer to home. Take for instance our present financial mess. It’s started well before 2007 but that is the defining date. We have been affected by the banking and mortgage disaster, but we don’t acknowledge that there were steps we could take personally to avoid the more far reaching situation involved. We could have stopped this, but we are too caught up in being the richest country in the world and trying to garner more personal wealth.
Our leader’s jet set the globe counseling other countries on their financial situations ignoring the abysmal mess we’re in at home. They have the temerity to tell developing nations how to run their governments. They have the gall demand better human rights but we allow people in our country to live on the streets and die of starvation. We complain that unemployment is out of control in America, but we import thousands of foreign workers and allow illegal alien migrant workers into the country to work for nearly nothing. We have yet to close the gaps in the border to exclude these illegal immigrants because the fill a gap in our work force. The unfortunate thing about our current unemployment is that many of the unfulfilled jobs could be handled by our own people, but they refuse to take manual labor jobs that are beneath them. Picking and packing are jobs for Mexicans, not Americans. I should be a supervisor or manager or etc. No one wants to work. It’s too bad…
So why do we stare into the abyss rather than deal with the problems at hand? I believe that our complacent lifestyle has relegated these problems to Big Brother. We no longer take responsibility for our lives; we have ceded them to the Big Brother. But… let something go wrong, and we reserve the right to bitch at the top of our collective voices about what a mess the Big Brother has created, or complain loudly that they are not watching out for our best interest. When Big Brother does step in we immediately scream about how Big Brother is taking control of our lives.
You see boys and girls; you cannot have it both ways. Either Big Brother takes control or you take responsibility. Either Big Brother makes the decisions and takes care of us or we take personal responsibility for our lives. I know where this will end and how all of us will be living Orwell’s 1984 and grousing about it. It will be our non-decision to allow Big Brother to take control.
I firmly believe the reason we are enamored of the information overflow and influx that keeps us informed but defies understanding is because it allows us plausible deniability: I knew this would happen but what could I do about it? Processing terabytes of information daily is certainly possible, but gleaning wisdom is doubtful. Rather than deal with our own problems we cede our interests to Big Brother and tenaciously maintain our rights to verbally criticize them for their bad decisions. We want it all: All but the responsibility for our own indecision and inaction.
~ The Author ~
Charles R. Dickens was born in 1951, is a veteran of the Vietnam, for which he volunteered, and the great-great grandson of the noted author, whose name he shares.
He is a fiercely proud American, who still believes this is the greatest country on the planet, with which we’ve lost control and certainly our direction. He grew up in moderate financial surrounding; were not rich by any stretch, but didn’t go hungry – his incredibly hard working father saw to that. As most from that era, he learned about life from his father, whose story would take too long to tell, other than to say that, he is also a fiercely proud American; a WWII and Korean war, veteran Marine.
Charlie was educated in the parochial system which, demanded that you actually learn something, and have capability to retain it before you advance. He attended several universities in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree, and chased the goose further to a master’s, and has retained some very definite ideas about education in this country.
In addition, Charlie is a professional (struggling) blues guitar and vocalist – a musician. This is his therapy career. Nothing brings him as much joy as playing music, and he wishes that he could make a living at it… maybe some day!
That’s Charlie… a proud, opinionated, and passionate American.
Mr. Dickens can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org