Greed, Fear, and Loathing - The Ideas That Toppled America
I had the good fortune of being criticized heavily for a hub I recently wrote on professional athletes being over paid. The experience helped to inspire me to write this hub. There is something very important happening in America right now, and I am glad to have the opportunity to address it. We are at a tipping point as a nation, a people, and a world. Greed, ignorance, fear, apathy, and loathing are standard practices accepted as "righteous". Our communities are eroding, and the future of our society is eroding with it. "Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it." A quote accredited to Edmond Burke, a prominent British philosopher.
We have a major debate that is taking place in America, even as I write this article. You can phrase the topic of that debate in many different ways, and my way is that our political parties and citizens are arguing over the value of life and wellness versus money. Society has followed the examples of the wealthy and persecuted the poor to the point where the divide has become dangerously wide between the social classes. There are people in our nation that are succeeding in the land of opportunity. However, there are ten times as many struggling just to survive. Some of the regions in our great nation have wonderful economic outlooks, while entire states in other areas are shutting down schools and laying off fire fighters due to lack of funding. If we do not take corrective measures soon, the conflicts like "Operation Wall Street" will continue to escalate further. There is a reason why their movement spread across the country like wildfire.
As a group, we have enough money in America to feed, house, and clothe every man, woman, and child in our society. From where I stand, greed and fear are the only things preventing that from happening. The "United States" (not very united) has the resources to police the world, but not enough to protect our children and people from the dangers at home? Where is the sense in that logic? Our collective attitude and laws leave many of those children in our own neighborhoods to turn into disenfranchised citizens. There are literally millions of willing workers inside our borders that have been cast out due to mental and criminal problems. The majority of those individuals suffer from major childhood traumas, and walk through our midst every day without a clue where to get help. Even doctors will tell you that almost all of the alcohol and drug abusers in our nation are mentally/emotionally unstable and use those substances to self medicate. According to Wikipedia, a whopping 46% of Americans can fit this classification at one point or another in their life. Some of those people get help, while others are left to self destruct in their madness. For those who don't get the help, add to that the stigma and fear associated with being classified as having "a mental disorder" and you have one serious problem. You end up with a lot of cornered tigers doing what a cornered tiger would do, acting out of fear and instinct. You have witnessed such persons act out at Columbine, VA Tech, etc., etc. Hurt people hurt people, (a popular saying in AA meetings) and I can not imagine what those two must have gone through to allow them to believe what they were doing was necessary. I am not justifying their actions in any way, just trying to shed some light on the results of ignoring the plight of the mentally ill/disturbed. One caring person or word may have been able to prevent either or both incidents. Think about that for a second.
Mental health is only one aspect of wellness and life. The situation is even more critical for those among us with terminal illnesses and no where to turn. Insurance company's lobbyists have been allowed to manipulate the system so much as to actually leave people to die so that they can save money. Some of those people had been paying for that protection for years, only to be told they were not covered or cancelled on when stricken by a major illness. Many citizens of our nation that worked every day of their lives are being denied life saving treatment so that big businesses can protect their profit margins. If this seems anti-American to you, please leave a comment stating so. Isn't this the land of "united we stand, divided we fall"? If that statement is true, our forecast is not looking so good right now. The division amongst the ranks is at an all time high, and the gap does not appear to be closing. Assuming the information that I am getting is correct, the gap is widening daily. As with all societies, the majority will only take so much. Look at Greece and the middle east if you need an example. Mark my words, if this issue does not get attended to soon, there will be a major conflict in our nation's future between the social classes.
I will close this by saying that these are only the tip of the ice burg. There are many areas that I did not go into. The ones that I discussed are topics close to home, and ones that I believe in strongly. My life has allowed me the pleasure of knowing people who were mentally ill, as well as outcast of every shape and size. Jesus loved them and commanded that we protect the weakest in our our midst. There are similar ideas shared through out every religion that I have ever heard of. One such person saved me from drowning when I was a child. I will forever owe her and those who suffer her fate my service and gratitude. Their minds may not be sharp, but the hearts of those individuals is often as pure as snow. That being said, we do a disservice to our society when we do not help each other reach our full potential and live well, regardless of the underlying circumstance. We have lost sight of the importance of our strength as a group and our children will pay the price for those indiscretions if something is not done about it. Thank you for reading my hub.
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