Howardism Musings from my Awakening Dementia
My collected thoughts flamed by hubris
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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 …

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