USA: The bad, the good, the choice
I know I am not alone when I say that I am finding the behavior of this country hard to understand. The country, and I don’t mean the government, is at war with itself.
We don’t know what we want or how to get it. Our attention span is miniscule. We have absolutely no self-discipline and no interest in furthering our education.
The country in general is self-absorbed with little ability to see anything from another’s point of view. We dirty our own nest and don’t care if the house falls down around us. We justify everything we do with faulty logic and a shrug of the shoulders. We are smug and defensive if any criticism comes our way. We play at war like it is a video game with no real involvement on the home front. And last but not least, we spend money and resources like there is no tomorrow.
On the other hand, we are physically strong, capable of great coordination when the situation demands it, beautifully energetic when we find something to be interested in, have a great sense of humor, a multitude of creative talents, incredible pride and loyalty in family, natural intelligence and desire to be better. We can change, overhaul and retool when necessary faster than anyone else. And I truly believe we are still a loving and generous nation even though all evidence points to the contrary.
I could just as easily have been describing a troubled teenager in the two paragraphs above. I picture the United States at this point in its very short history, as a sullen depressed teenager lounging on a plush sofa trying to communicate all its angst to the giant Dr. Phil in the sky.
The United States is a very young country compared to Great Britain, India, Korea, Japan, and, of course, the rising stepparent, China. We were born from diversity and have used everything in our inherited genes to grow faster than anyone else. As an adolescent, we are ready to thumb our noses at the wise teachers. We don’t want to hear what they have to say about anything from Kyoto to stem cells. We are mad because we are not getting our way all the time and must face some harsh realities about growing up. The sun is not revolving around our pure 10-year-old souls anymore. We are entering that danger point in late puberty when a strong-willed teenager can go either way.
Enter the strong parent figure. But we don’t have one. Our leaders are like ourselves: whining, uncommitted, self-absorbed, procrastinating, polarizing, small thinkers. We need a strong leader who will set an example. It would be nice if the country had someone who listened. A parent should be educated and open to outside help. Where is the idea of accountability? What gives with the bad grade in Environmental Responsibility class? Our great leaders deny it happened. Shouldn’t parents put the good of the child first? Leaders should not be busy at work spreading freedom and big business when the child at home is staring at television in a deepening depression of neglect.
The lazy leader/parent bores the child with a droning lecture, takes away the child’s rights, cuts their allowance and goes on about their Big Business. Anyone who has raised children knows this doesn’t work very often.
There are two choices for the adolescent in this case. He or she can continue to lounge in the junk food distractions that the establishment offers up, or jump up off the couch with a new resolve to work harder, laugh more often, care for stray dogs and live kindly. They need to use this newfound maturity and join the political process with a voice that demands attention from these distracted and destructive parentals.