- Posted July 26, 2012 by
Lament of A Dream Undone
I am an entrepreneur who is passionate about what I do. I have worked hard to reach where I have. I have put my hard earned money in from multiple jobs to build my own small business and grown it to put food on the table for my family and for my team. I believe I am the quintessential American living the dream. And I am seeing it undone in slow motion while I watch. This is my lament.
America is the greatest country in the world. Freedom, fairness and opportunity have never seen a better home. Yes, there have been dark spots from slavery to segregation, from McCarthyism to Watergate - but America has always risen to the challenges. How? Through the principles of hard work, innovation and risk taking, equality and above all common sense. Yet, these are the very values that are atrophying day by day as the nation loses its common purpose to uphold its ideals.
To start, let me state that I am neither Republican (though, I like lower taxes and efficient Government), nor a Democrat (though, I believe that a developed society has a responsibility to protect its disadvantaged members).
A Democracy is built by and for its people. Representation in elected bodies is how a Democracy functions - with the hope that it represents their will in good measure. Yet, when one looks at the zigzag lines of a redistricting map trying to preserve the safe seats of a party in power - one cannot but wonder where that fairness went.
Technology is rapidly changing and shrinking the world as we know it. It is bringing billions of people who have the primal urge to improve their condition with hard work and education rapidly in conflict with a sated American psyche. Yet, we bicker over how to fix our degrading public school system and the relative merits of higher education - as if trying to protect our children and our senior teachers from working too hard, regardless of how far they fall behind.
Going into politics was a noble cause - an act of service to society. Occasionally it got you the riches, but most of the time it satisfied a feeling deep inside of doing good by our neighbours and our country. Yet, today's politicians have no time for such frivolties, as money from currying favors and future lobbying jobs beckon.
Most world religions are built on common values of compassion, seeking of the truth and pursuit of morality. They are supposed to be uplifting and spiritual helping us rise above the transactional nature of daily living. Yet, religion is now used as a tool to create boundaries, become insulated and lock ourselves into positions where only our view is right and everybody else is wrong.
We know guns are dangerous, more so the bigger they are. When the founders created the Constitution they did not envision a killing machine that could spew death to hundreds wielded in a moment of weakness. Yet, we cling to the literal interpretation of the written word, without regard to its spirit and how the decades and centuries between could have shaped its meaning.
Workers need to preserve their rights. Collectively bargaining for their rights gives them greater power to make or resist change as they need to. Yet, it is against the principle of freedom to have their dues taken out of their paychecks regardless of whether they want to or not.
It is well known that money begets power and power corrupts. Too much of absolute power in the hands of a moneyed few, corrupts even more. Yet, the stewards of our justice system fail to want to see the simple truth that their support of free speech blared from television ads renders useless the individual voices of millions.
This divisiveness in our milieu, the selfish looking out for ourselves and not for others, the narrow refrain of our arguments, our refusal to see reason outside of blind preservation of our beliefs, the hatred of our politics, the violence in our society, the obeisance to coteries with personal agendas - belies common sense.
Alas, America was built on industrious, intelligent, pragmatic, common sense. Without it, we are as forlorn as a sailing ship without a mast thats buffeted by this wind and the next, forever going hither and thither but never to a destination. And when the food runs out on board and sailors start devouring what they can, the paucity of common sense, humanism, and openness to each other's ideas can only lead to the same self-destruction.
Alas America, its not too late only if we opened our eyes. Will we?