(Disclaimer: This is random ramblings of an average US citizen who used to be part of the now vanished middle class. Take it with a grain of bitters.)
So sitting here in a battered recliner at my in-laws, (because my back has decided that being on a fishing boat till all hours of the morning and then sleeping on the couch is something I should be punished for), I commented to my brother-in-law that the extreme game shows we’re now seeing are pretty much cribbed from Japanese television. His comment was “What haven’t we stolen from other countries.”
I had to stop and think about that for a moment. Then I came back with a few surprising answers.
We haven’t stolen...
Universal health care.
Positive social policies.
Laws that punish corporate greed.
Government ethics reform.
A livable minimum wage.
Proper separation of church and state.
Truthful media reporting.
Well...you get the idea and I’m sure you can think of quite a few more.
In all seriousness we could stand to be a lot more like other places on the globe. Yes we used to be considered better but in truth we really weren’t. I mean we’ve had religious intolerance forever despite what people say, our government has only grown more corrupt with time, and the separation of church and state has really only been lip service all this time.
But now...we’re being assimilated by other countries. Due to our corporate greed, outsourcing, and many other things we are less than we were and are rapidly being overtaken by others.
That leaves us only two choices really.
The first is to go back to the previous ways. To roll back our current clock to a point when we were strong as a country and a nation. But that also will roll back all the social reform and growth as a people we’ve experienced during that time.
The second is to re-make ourselves. To grasp firmly with both hands the good parts we see in the world and try and make them our own. I’m not talking about going to war - in fact we should end the wars we’re in right now before it’s too late - but rather look at those things that benefit everyone for the better and adopt those things for ourselves.
I vote for the second. That’s why I try and read about other cultures and societies and see what good things I can apply to myself. I’m not always successful but I keep trying.
If I had to pick three things that I wish for us to adopt as a country...
Honor (because we have little to none left - the rest of the world is laughing at us and rightly so).
Ethics (because the guy who gives back the lost wallet without taking the money shouldn’t be the only good person).
Common Sense (because the world doesn’t owe you when you slip and fall - you should have looked for the slippery steps).
I know this will garner a great amount of criticism but frankly I don’t care. As a country we’re in a terrible situation and the time for soft spoken talk is over.
We need to change. And yesterday. And the previous ways we used to handle things doesn’t work any more.
It’s time to stand up and look to the future. And that future won’t get here without change.
Change you need to make with common sense, ethics, and honor.
Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( http://nimitzbrood.dreamwidth.org/236614.html ) but feel free to comment here as well.