What a Country
I'm so frustrated and downright embarrassed to be an American right now.
Please don't think that I'm being disrespectful or unpatriotic in my
comments, as I feel that one of the great things about this country is the
right to improve things by open, honest communication, but…
Margaret Wheatley, in her article entitled, Where are the Stars in this
Dark Night? (in the July issue of Shambhala Sun, page 25), made a "list
of national values" that she thought would shock most Americans:
In the past several years, America has embraced values that
cannot create a sustainable society and world. Currently, we organize our
activities around beliefs that are inherently life-destroying. We believe
that growth can be endless, that competition creates healthy relationships,
that consumption need have no limits, that meaning is found in things, and
that aggression brings peace.
Our current recession is due in part to some of these poor values in our
greed during the Internet bubble and the cautious approach to our delayed
economic recovery is due to uncertain wars and their repercussions. But
there are other, more direct examples of our misdirected values.
Look at the state of the energy market in this country… from Enron to
dependence on foreign oil to our love of large gas-guzzling machines. I
agree with most other countries that gas should be doubled to both cut down
on unnecessary travel and to take the tax collected and reinvest on
energy-independence. Even our choices in our relations with other countries
is founded on some of these "oil principles" (see these thoughts).
Look at the state of health care in this country… The more affluent and
wealthy our nation becomes the harder it is for the poor and the elderly
(who built this country) to maintain their health. I know people who order
their prescriptions from Canada and other countries because they can't
afford not to.
Look at the state of college graduates… Upon graduation they have
interest-bearing loans to the tune of thousands and thousands of dollars.
In every educated country that comes to mind, the society feels that
educating their children is a matter of investing in the future. I mean,
didn't we feel this way when we set up our public school system? But this
was set up during a time when a high-school education was acceptable in the
job marketplace. This isn't the case now. So why should we stop?
This also requires students who do go to college and higher education to
choose degrees to help them get jobs. So what, you might say? Isn't our
society enriched by struggling artists, historians, scientists and others
who explore the undiscovered parts inside and outside the human soul?
You know, those things that don't have a price-tag.
Just musing …
Tell others about this article: