Thursday, August 6, 2009

Call Me Old Fashioned

Ok, this is my first official blog "rant". So, what the hell has happened to the world in the past 40 years??? Alright, I know we've had our issues for forever, but seriously... how has life as we know it managed to become so out of control? Before I continue, please know that I know that this doesn't apply to everyone, but it seems to be the rule rather than the exception. To those of you who do the right things, take responsibility, and contribute to the greater good, thank you.

Here is my official list of things that I'm tired of...
Lack of principles.
Lack of common sense.
Self centeredness.
Oh, and did I mention apathy?

Everyone is quick to point fingers and blame others for the state of society, the grim series of events that has effected the decline in our world economy, jobless rates, obesity and all those other things that the media loves to force feed us. In my [very humble] opinion, we need to forget about trying to figure out where to place the blame and just start working on coming up with a better way to live. It needs to be an effort that begins inside the heart and mind of each individual, and it means changing our expectations on pretty much everything.

Here in the states, we hear a lot about government intervention into our personal lives and whether different things should be privatized vs. mandated and run under the government's hand. I think either solution just puts a band aid on a gaping wound. The problem isn't really with whether the government is doing their job, but rather with whether or not individual citizens are acting responsibly. People should come to the realization that they are ultimately responsible (and rightfully so) for their own situations... and they also need to realize that no one man (or single family) is an island. Since the dawn of humanity, people have come together to rely on each other to work together to achieve what was needed to meet the needs of the whole. When did that cease to be a fact of life?
I can acknowledge the need for social programs because sometimes doodle happens and people have nowhere else to turn. What I'm against is the downright dishonesty of people who scam the system, taking benefits away from people who really need them. I found out today that a member of my former family is taking advantage of public housing by providing fraudulent information about her marital status and job status... and that's not even the 20th case I've heard of over the course of my lifetime where someone I knew personally was doing that. Where did the mindset come from of "Hey, if I can get away with it, why not let someone else bear the burden?" And you know these are the same people who scream "unfair" when the programs run out of money, cut benefits, and all of a sudden they're faced with having to be what they should have had the scruples to be in the first place... responsible.

The "good life" isn't free. And no one is entitled to something for nothing. It just seems like over the past 40 years or so (and I can only judge based on my own experiences), so many people have grown lazy and greedy and self-centered to the point of apathy. The sense of entitlement that exists today is amazing in my mind.

In the "old days" not every young couple starting out could afford a home of their own and there was no shame in that. Children were raised by their parents with some help from the extended family, and not some stranger in a daycare. If you were lucky, you had a family car, one color TV (with about 5 channels) and a phone in the house... teenagers rarely had their own cars (unless they were 10 year old clunkers), and you knew your family was rich if you had an extension in your room, although your parents still made you walk down to your friends' houses to talk to them. As kids, not only did we survive the "simple life", we were probably a lot happier than today's kids with all of the "necessities" that they have.

The doctor down the street came to your home when you or your child were sick because that's what being a doctor was about...treating sick people... not about cramming as many patients as possible into a day, or trying to figure out how to maximize payments from the insurance company by upcoding or cutting care. Doctors were doctors first, now they are business men and women first. The sad part of that is that they really have to be... (We just lost our second PCP in 3 years because being a PCP isn't "profitable")

Thanks to a society which has become comfortable with suing over a hangnail and expecting millions for anything that even closely resemble an accident or error in action by doctors, employers, schools, media, etc., costs to run any kind of business continue to skyrocket, and greedy lawyers keep padding their pockets seeking out frivolous lawsuits, chasing ambulances, and driving costs skyrocketing. We send jobs overseas, we buy from countries that produce items with substandard methods, we don't take care of ourselves... and then we cry that we are unemployed, that our children's toys are dangerous or the goods we buy aren't tested... and that we're entitled to strain the medical system with preventable disorders and disease. And this is because? We demand high wages, we expect low prices, and we are in denial that we're at least somewhat in charge of our own health and well being... the list goes on.

People aren't perfect, but I think we all should be held responsible for the results of our actions. Why are some of us held so much more accountable when things go wrong than others? When did we get to the point of having to attach a dollar amount to everything? What happened to taking pride in what you do, and doing your job in a manner that would stand up under scrutiny, instead of doing the minimum for the maximum pay you could command? At what point did society decide it was easier to "just look the other way" rather than to demand proper behavior from others? When did parents become afraid to parent? Or is it that many of them also just want to look the other way rather than deal with the responsibility of handling a difficult situation in a parental capacity? How else do children learn that every action has a consequence? When did "do-overs" become the norm for children - even though in the adult world there are no do-overs? When did "showing up" rather than working hard become enough? Why doesn't spelling and grammar count anymore?

We've become a society of two types of people - those who are either too apathetic or too intimidated to stand up for what is right, what makes sense in the long term, those who are willing to accept life without actually getting involved in it or taking responsibility for it... or those who take advantage at every opportunity, those who feel entitled to have everything they want simply because they want it, not because they have earned it - those who can look no further than their immediate desires for this moment, yet refuse to realize that someone, somewhere, is footing the bill for them.

If we want the world to be a better place, we need to work hard at being better people. I guess I'm a believer that there is always something you can do to make the world a better place and life just a little bit easier for your fellow man. It may mean learning to be happier with less, living smarter, considering the consequences of our actions as the defining factor of where our lives head, and realizing that the time for change is long overdue. Don't be someone who just sits around grumbling about the sorry state of the world... ask yourself what you personally can do to effect a positive change, no matter how small that change is. If everyone just made one small positive change every day, even every week, imagine the snowball effect it would have!

Everyone has something to contribute - what are you willing to give, what actions can you incorporate in your life to get things back on track and make the world a better place? As Lao Tzu said... "The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." We have a long road to travel to get back to a solid foundation. Take no more than you give, give more than you need...Take that first step... but continue walking and growing and contributing along the way.

I think this quote by Mary Kay Ash sums it up pretty well... There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened. We all have a choice. You can decide which type of person you want to be. I have always chosen to be in the first group. - Mary Kay Ash

I'll add to that first group... those who do things because they're the right things to do. Thanks for reading... comments are SOOOOO welcome!


fawndear said...

A big old YEP! Ditto, Agree, You-bettcha!
You said it perfectly. Now I need to get off my fat lazy butt, get off my computer and go make a difference. I'll start with my kids.
Love IT!

muffintopdesigns said...

absolutely thought provoking! i try to take responsibility for all of my actions and choices... and am also glad that my parents will have a hand in raising my daughter. i hope that she too will grow up to an active, vibrant, responsible and independent woman - who will make an impact on her world!!!


Dreamspirations Gallery said...

That's what REALLY gets under my skin... is people taking advantage of the working class tax dollars.... I feel they should somehow, someway investigate more when someone goes to get on food stamps or free housing, etc. Giving these things to people who can actually get up and go to work, I feel, is taking away from the people who really DO need assistance. If the Government would boot the people who doesn't deserve it then there would be more AND better assistance for those who do.... the disabled, mentally challenged and even people who ARE working and trying and still don't have enough income!
About ten years ago I was up and stuck with a huge house payment, etc. on my own and I was making over $10.00 hr. working 3rd shift in a warehouse and still didn't have enough money to get groceries.... so someone suggested I try to get foodstamps... well they wouldn't give me any foodstamps. All they said was that if I had a child they could. What? Go get pregnant and add to societies problems just to get help??? No.....
My parents helped buy my groceries and I stuck it out for almost 2 years just working and sleeping before I had to finally bite the bullet and file bankruptcy! The one thing I did not want! Soooo
Thanks for the post :) LOL! That helped get a little bit off my chest...
Blessings to you,

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