Tuesday, October 7, 2008

How are we Living?

I’ve been thinking lately about how people are living and what they are bounded by in these recent times. I am basing this all on my own experience, of course, and I would like to bounce some ideas around. I believe that there is a common discontent with modern life and a distrust of each other and the ruling body, etc. Obviously, most of this is normal human psyche, and I have been trying to get my mind around it’s causes / effects in our present times.
The issue, from my perspective, is that most of us are smart enough to know that there is an opportunity in American society to become anything you want to be. We also know that one could possibly become as rich and powerful as you want to. Of course, there are different kinds of people, and being an idealist, I am more concerned with happiness than I am with power and money (although those are not bad distractions and can lead to happiness for many people). The process to gaining this kind of meaningful relationship with my life and dreams, though, is totally compromised whenever I have to deal with the “machine” built by people whose dreams and hopes revolve around money and power. Not being judgmental, (ok well maybe a little!) I am excited and happy for people who pursue money and power to their own happiness. This is a wonderful thing.
The difficult thing for myself is that those of us who are more interested in other life endeavors do not have as clear and supported avenue/opportunity to our happiness. And believe me, I am not at all disappointed with the opportunities in America, rather I am frustrated that a person can work hard, be in love with their work, and have a happy, meaningful life, BUT without wasting some energy on financial pursuits, can end up hungry, homeless, hopeless, etc. I think this is a real issue confronting our civilization. I think this is one of the central issues confronting our frustrated times (it is definitely a central issue in my life a). This is a major cause of “the disease”. What I mean is this: this grand experiment we call America is not on a track to succeed. It is only on track to appease and cajole. (and believe me, I want it to succeed !!!)
Some symptoms of this disease area as follows:
A lawsuit against Mc Donald’s because someone spilled hot coffee in their lap.
Track Homes
Less than 5% of people control more than 90% of wealth
Affirmative action 
Health care system
Social security
Whenever a system or law supercedes a popular vote (not sure why we don’t make ALL decisions on popular votes)
A criminal code that would take more than one lifetime to read
Gun control
Whenever a criminal threatens someone’s life or property and then goes free
Whenever a person gets their freedoms taken away for possessing an “illegal substance” (what about internet drug stores?)
Movie ratings
Drinking age laws
Any legislated censorship (not sure why we don’t trust each other to know what is appropriate for our own children)
Average Salaries of Teachers / Law Enforcement / Fire Fighters
Civilians Contracted by the military (can’t soldiers be trained to do anything the military needs done?)
A law against sharing music (what good is music / art / poetry that you can’t share???)
Whenever money and power interferes with guilty or not-guilty (I understand that this will always be a problem with people who are wealthy getting more lenient treatment in court. But maybe, just maybe if we put our heads together, we could stifle a lot of this crap).
The fact that the population of jails and retention centers is so racially out of balance. (why are there so many minorities in jail?)
1 in 100 adults are in jail
federal tax code that is 66,000 pages long (even the people who write the tax code can't properly file their taxes!)

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