Monday, September 12, 2011

We are better

Over the past week, some people I truly respect have written some interesting posts about 9/11. Most of them expressed how dire and pessimistic our country has become. These posts have kind of bothered me as I read and think them over.
The first one that kicked it off was from Otis at Rapid Eye Reality. I am not going to argue with what he has written. I think he has many good points. There are so many things we as a community could do better.
Yet, I think he missed out on many better ones. He forgets the heroes who acted selflessly on that day. The soldiers who go off to defend our country, spending years away from their families. The millions of dollars Americans have given to other countries when natural catastrophes happen. Haiti, Thailand, Japan to name a few. It is American warships that usually respond first giving aid to those in need.
Another friend, Dan, who happens to be a great writer said today how much he hates what this country has become. Again, this country still has its issue but not as bad as he thinks. We have made great strides over the past 10 years. Are we worse off? I don’t think so. We do have problems that simply put no one has the balls to solve. Take for example Social Security. Explain to me why I can’t have money I am paying in go into an account that has MY NAME on it and will be around for me when I retire. That is too drastic for some and the cries of “privatization” of the system are spewed out. Instead when I retire I can expect to get 90 cents on the dollar of what I have paid in. Those coming out of college, if they can get a job, will get maybe 70 cents. Sounds like a great system we can have just chug along, huh?
Maybe that is the optimist in me. I look for the good. When the bad is there, it is a matter of making it better. Many people can sit back and criticize what they are seeing and what people are doing. If you don’t like it, then do something about it.
And therein lies the problem. As I said, I have been thinking about this for the last couple of days. I have been wondering how I could put out a sort of rebuttal without sounding insulting or saying that they are flat out wrong. It is hard because, again, I agree with the majority of their points. I think this article cleared it up for me. Triumph of the Normal.
Then it struck me. It seemed like the people that quickly agreed and nodded their heads in unison with the articles were all liberally minded. They wanted something big to happen from this crisis. And in their minds, nothing did. Yet, something big did. We got back to living our normal lives.
Now there was a second event just under 3 years ago. Another event that was supposed to transform our country. Like 9/11, they thought it would bring people together and we would be united as a country. That hasn’t happened either. Maybe that is the root cause of these articles. People have felt let down by Obama. Some will say that is a stretch but think about it. He touched so many people and gave them hope. That hasn’t worked out like they expected. Our country is in the doldrums and yet it looks like our politicians care more to bicker about elections than doing what is best for the country. The new jobs plan is the same plan that was touted 2 years ago. It didn’t work then so why would it work now?
So what do you do about it? That is up to you. I can only do what I have been doing. Over the past 10 years I have been donating more money to charity. Over the last 3 years I finally have committed to volunteering more time to causes I believe in. A little effort can go a long way. I am not sitting in judgement of anyone here. I jus think that we can all sit back and write about what is wrong or we can begin to do something about it. I prefer the latter.

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