While we should be pursuing progress and a unified nation we are regressing into a state of savagery and bigotry. We can all feel in our hearts that the morality and code of ethics that we need to govern ourselves during the countless hours of our lives is faltering. Our economic system has been hijacked and we all suffer great financial loss as a result. Our social system is losing the order upon which it was built. We all see the rampant abuses of people, places, and things taking place around us. Our cities are unruly to say the least. Many of our major cities are occupied by a largely uneducated poor population that is made up of mostly minority individuals. White America is building a more affluent “super-suburban” existence. Yet, the problems they are running away from are slowing creeping into their respective communities. This translates into social decay in all areas of our society. This decay is impacting both our urban and rural communities.
Within all civilized societies both past and present, there have been and are activities that have been deemed to be in conflict with the standards of said society. These activities are usually pre-judged to be immoral and/or evil. We have labeled these activities “vices.” Some of the immoral and evil activities our society has categorized as vices are prostitution, gambling, drinking and using drugs. This list can go on a bit depending upon to whom one is speaking. Truly, it is our rampant abuse of such activities that is decaying the spiritual and moral fiber of our civilization. Many members of our society have exalted indulgence and excess to a position of esteem greater than that of God. For the most part, our behavior as individuals and as a collective is out of control. Violent acts occur so frequently that often only the more horrendous of acts move us to react. This violence occurs in our midst as though it is a part of civilization. It is not.
Difference is looked upon with uncompromising intolerance. Racial and bias crimes have become increasingly more prevalent. The American citizenry is dividing by race and class and that division is
leading us all towards self-destruction. All the systems that support our daily lives have problems that must be addressed if we are to maintain our current standard of living and have our prosperity grow. We cannot allow ourselves to be indifferent to each other and our society. America is our home and our country,
and it is in crisis.
The nucleus of our nation, the American family, has all but fallen apart for a majority of the American population. The family and spiritual values of too many of our people are almost non-existent. There are men fathering children without concern for the wellbeing of their living, breathing creations. Parents are repeating their child-rearing experiences with their grandchildren because their single-parent offspring are overwhelmed by their responsibilities, as well as for other more unfortunate reasons that I do not feel a need to mention. There are parents who are killing their children and children who are killing their parents. There are children having children. Without the guidance they need, many of our youngest citizens have developed their own set of values based upon a child’s immature, superficial view of life. These children are turning to each other to provide the values and support they are not getting at home. They are coming together in the form of gangs with the intent to attaining the food, shelter, clothing and other materials that support the shortsighted value system their immature minds have constructed. The rebellion of our youth is partly the result of the frustration and lack of hope that they experience when they think about themselves in some future circumstance of their lives. Within their minds, they do not see a clear path that leads them where they want to be and it appears as though their world truly has an end. If their dream were of sleeping on a beach in Hawaii, most do not see the prospects before them that will provide that opportunity, and they doubt they will live long enough to attain it anyway. Because of poor parenting, social chaos, poverty, pollution, terrorism, war and many of our society’s other ailments, they do not see a prosperous and sustainable future for themselves.
With no sense of self-worth or value, both children (and adults) act out in desperation to gain a skewed version of respect and as much short-term gratification as possible. The vast majority of the adolescents of our society, who are supposed to become leaders in our nation in the years to come when they are elders, are not arming themselves with the language skills, academic skills or social skills necessary for this task. Nor do they have the ethical, moral, or spiritual values necessary to lead anyone. Many children have no motivation or hope of creating anything positive and unique because their vision of the future is nothing to focus on. Adults are supposed to teach the young a moral, ethical, and spiritual value system upon which to build the foundation of their character. Without a foundation for character, our children act in ways that are not true to their nature by doing what is not really in their hearts to do. Without this foundation, they are unprepared to select the proper direction for the actions that will compose their lives. It is like placing a child in the wilderness and briefly describing their destination to them, then telling them to go find it. They would be confused because they would have no idea which direction to go in. This confusion would be overwhelming as it is multiplied by the number of choices individuals are faced with. While travel may merely be a matter of north, south, east, or west, actions are comprised of motions up, down, forward, backward, and around within the degrees of a circle. There are numerous dangers out there, both known and unknown. Children are not armed for the journey for such dangers. What must be done in this circumstance is the same thing that must be done to prepare our offspring for their journey through life within a civilized society. We must teach them to have a sense of direction. We must provide them with a “map” that will lead them to the destination that is their future. We must arm these children with the wears they will need to survive. To ensure their safety we must be there along the path of their journey through this thing called life to provide protection and guidance.
Our children are either not leaving home when they become adults or they are returning numerous times for economic reasons. This increases the financial burden on the parent(s) and does little for the maturing process of the children. The cost of living in America has a high price tag, and yet, incomes are down and unemployment is up. The opportunities within the job market have become more dependent upon communication skills and intellectual ability. For those who are unprepared for this change, income levels have declined to a point where the dollars received for the work performed fall far short of what is needed to provide individual independence. Long-term employment with one company is almost a thing of the past. Promotions take much longer to earn. Unemployment and poverty are at an all-time high with homelessness just one or two missed paychecks away for a vast number of Americans.
To compound these problems, the economy is not structured so that it meets the needs of all members of our society. We can see that the policies of the corporations and the politicians are aimed at profit and control for the few, not the many. The system that supports our lives is driven by an alliance between business and government that serves those in control of resources. The control of resources gives these entities great power. Yet, truth be told, the factual power of this nation lies with the people. Our weaknesses and desires lead us to give away our power so that we can focus on self-gratification. Our government is giving away the power of the people by privatizing the management of our services and resources. This is done under the guise of efficiency. What it truly means is we will be paying for things that should be free to us all. If one controls access to resources, one controls people and has power. Our government is supposed to be for the people and by the people. It is not supposed to delegate its responsibility for the people to the private sector because these entities are driven by profit above all else.
Our country is physically falling apart and literally in need of an overhaul. Many of the buildings in our cities are deteriorated and the residential housing there is dilapidated. Our nation’s roads and bridges must be enhanced to bear the burden of ever-increasing amounts of traffic volume and weight. We are polluting too much of our Earth’s remaining natural environment in the name of progress. Blind selfishness and greed driven by profit is leading to the uncalculated destruction of our Earth’s natural resources even in the face of the knowledge that we need clean air, pure water and rich soil to survive. We are recklessly destroying the forests that helping to produce the air when need to breathe and that stabilize our weather patterns. We are polluting the oceans as though we will never need them as a source of food and water. In the name of expansion and progress we have used asphalt and concrete to shield us from the barbaric practice of walking on and living on bare ground. This has lead to the elimination of huge areas of natural habitat. In addition to this, through nuclear testing and mining we have poisoned vast areas of the soil to such a degree that, not only can no edible food be grown in it, but it is also dangerous to live in proximity to such contamination. The rampant destruction of our environment is almost out of control.
There are terrorist groups made up of foreign nationals originating from outside of our border who are bent upon destroying our nation for fanatical reasons. There are terrorist groups made up of American citizens originating from within our borders who are bent upon destroying our nation for fanatical reasons. Shielded by the very liberties America was founded on, these groups strike out at innocent people as part
of their twisted agendas. The list of problems plaguing our nation goes on and on. As countrymen and
women of these United States, the solutions to these problems must come from us. We elect people to represent us in government and higher people to run our municipalities. However, the direction that this nation moves in as it goes forward must be guided by we the people. Each and every one of us is responsible for the circumstances that exist in this country. Additionally, it is the citizenry of this great land called America that must actively make right the wrongs of our living condition. This is true whether those
wrongs occur within our homes, our communities, or our nation as a whole.
We Americans are headed for a chaotic and turbulent future as the result of many things. One of which
is that we have been progressively relinquishing responsibility for our individual and collective well-being
to others. The “others” I am referring to are small groups of people with big agendas. Our political parties, civil services, social services, educators, media outlets, retailers, drug dealers and others are basically
now dictating the motions of our lives to us.
The rat race has caused too many of us as individuals to focus in on our own daily lives and let the rest
of the world work itself out. Materialism has led us to believe that as long as we have liberty to pursue our self-serving sources of enjoyment, or more precisely put, personal stimulation, we will tolerate most anything as long as we do not feel pain. This selfish approach to living will ultimately lead to our own social chaos.
This is true because selfishness is contrary to our very nature as a socialized species.
In essence, as a nation we have lost our way. Many members of our society have exalted both indulgence and excess to a position of esteem greater than that of God. For the most part, individual and collective human behavior is out of control when judged by the standards defined for a civilized society. Many of our citizens are confused to the degree that they are unable to make any real sense of our existence or their place in it. The sheer magnitude and number of our nation's problems require the unified effort of all Americans
if we are to solve them to our collective satisfaction. In 1915, former President Teddy Roosevelt gave
a speech in New York. In it, he criticized U.S. citizens who identified themselves by dual nationalities.
He said, "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism." In essence this means that if
one is born on American soil or are otherwise a legal American citizen, that person is a member of this
group we call a nation. As such, each of us has a personal responsibility to the collective. It is plain and simple. A major obstacle to our successfully addressing the destructive issues that we face as a citizenry
is our attitudes as individual Americans. We must change our way of thinking and the perspective from which our way of thinking is derived.
It is easy for any individual to wonder why the citizens of the greatest nation in the history of humankind do not make a greater effort to correct the problems we all face. It is because individuals get so caught up in the circumstances of their day-to-day lives that their priority becomes concern for their immediate situations. It is assumed that our government will satisfactorily deal with correcting our societal problems. My intent here is not to say that this way of thinking is in error, but that it is too limited. We do (and should) expect
our government to contribute revenue, resources and management to the betterment of our collective living condition. However, we as citizens are never absolved of our responsibilities as laid out within the Constitution. Scholars of all disciplines tell us that we do not use the full capacity of our brainpower.
Well, how can we if we continue to place limits and restrictions on our concept of reality and our thought processes? We need to open our minds and raise our level of consciousness so that we are able to understand that our personal lives are just one aspect of our being. An aspect to which we could fully devote our energies if we lived in a vacuum, but not one of us does. Because of the nature of community life and the fact that we are thinking social beings, we must interact to survive. As well, the solutions to most of our society’s problems are an undertaking of the collective. The collective, put in more familiar terms, is we the people.
Over the last fifty to sixty years, our society has incurred some significant changes to our collective value system. In an effort to ensure that our citizenry does not lose any liberties, our populous as a whole became more tolerant in our acceptance of degrading, vulgar, barbaric, violent behavior and the depiction of violent expression, regardless of how offensive and critical our interpretations of these things may have seemed at
the time. This acceptance of negative expression, together with the misconception of the American Dream to be the pursuit of immediate self-gratification gotten through whatever means necessary, has led to a level of street violence that defames the word civilized. These acts should be characterized as domestic terrorism.
At present, we do not have a common set of values shared by all our citizenry to serve as an adhesive to
hold our social structure together. In the future, the American society of today could very well be looked
upon as just another great civilization that no longer exists. Should this be our fate, it will truly be a travesty because of our technological and social development, and we will have no one to blame but ourselves.
Collectively, having common goals and a positive value system are what perpetuate a nation. Individually, common goals let each of us move in the same direction while still living our individual lives. As well, a positive set of values strengthens each person’s character and resolve. Values are contagious to the degree that, the positive action of a person with a strong sense of good values as well as their positive approach to life by example gives others the strength they need to work toward their goals. "Work" being the operative word. I once heard someone say something simple that I found very profound, “the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” One must understand that everything is the result of effort or work. Imagine if birth was just a process by which we floated down to our Earth as five-year-olds with no parents assigned
to be responsible for us. To survive on the planet regardless of what form society took, we would have to do things, put forth effort, or work to ensure our survival. Consciously apply this realization to life's present circumstance. The truth in it is no different. Childbirth is definitely a different experience, but beyond that, the facts differ very little. Our social structure dictates that our parents be responsible for us for only the first eighteen or so years of our lives. This is the formative, preliminary period of human life. It is to be utilized to prepare oneself for the challenge of surviving as an individual within a given society. It is work that one performs in school to get an education. It is work that one performs later in life to get a paycheck. Looking at life from the perspective that some person in America or that American society as a whole owes an individual a livelihood simply because that person physically breathes air is a narrow, selfish, immature approach to life.
Individuals look for so much out of life while not seeing what the true gift of existing really is. This gift is life itself. It is the opportunity to experience. It is up to the individual to make those experiences either positive or negative. Human beings are all the same in a basic sense. We think the same basic things, but our thoughts differ relative to time and individual circumstance. We desire the same things, but the specifics of those desires are individualized relative to time and circumstance. However, we must recognize our common concerns and respond accordingly.
If an individual wants to be praised and recognized for what they do, he or she must accept that others want that as well. If an individual wants things that make their life comfortable, he or she must accept that others want that as well. If an individual wants everything to go their way, he or she must accept that others want that as well and they are just as entitled. If an individual wants their rights and property respected,
he or she must accept that others want that as well. Therefore, to have happiness and comfort for oneself, individuals must recognize that others are equally entitled and each must respect the other’s position of existence. This requires compromise and tolerance. As balance is the most profound factor of Nature’s system, compromise and tolerance are essential elements necessary to achieving balance in a very real sense. Each of us must accept our responsibility to utilize these elements to manifest the natural balances required for the perpetuation of ourselves and our civilization, as well as all other living things.
What is being lost sight of by too many individuals is that the liberties that we have to express our attitudes, our selfishness, our greed, and our rebellion, are only allowable because of the very nature of the American social system. In other countries, individuals do not have such freedom of expression as we have
in this country. Each of us must patriotically support this system with our very lives. This is true if for no other reason than it is this nation that allows us to be who we are as individuals. The complexities and pressures of our daily lives along with our selfishness and greed cause us to overlook these basic facts sometimes. We all must rally around what our nation stands for; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This nation is the one thing that all Americans have in common. As well, it is the one thing each of us must have to live as we desire.
We must all examine our character and the direction of our life. We must look deeper into the truth of what we really want. This is not a reference to one’s immediate desires. It is a reference to what a person wants out of their entire life. This is the direction that person wants the journey of their life to take, no matter what that is. When a person has an understanding of what their true desires are, it gives that person a visual image upon which they can focus. That focus will bring a certain amount of definition, intensity, benefit and serenity to that person’s life in that they will come to know who they truly are, not what others want them to be. It gives a person a perception of themselves and their ability that they can focus on, work on and refine. That is a benefit of recognizing the moments of time for what they truly are, i.e. facing reality. Many of us think of life as being so complex that we do not try to understand it. Truly, it is our personal existence that each of us is really trying to place into context. Individuals are trying to answer the question of how they personally fit into reality. Whatever conclusion a person comes to when asking themselves this question,
being a living and breathing human individual truly is not a negative thing. Therefore, the expression of individuality should not have a negative affect on one’s home, community, or nation. As each of us comes to understand ourselves as individuals, we must not forget that relative to Nature and Science, human beings are an animal species. Every animal aids its own survival as a law of Nature or Science. Each of us must recognize our responsibility to do this. Each individual must seek to understand the rules of Nature’s
system and our social system so that we are all able to function in harmony with it all. Individuals have
to adapt to those rules so that they are benefited and aided in their pursuit of a successfully life. One must work to provide for their existence within the confines of the social structure because whether or not any
of us wants to believe it, each of us is a lifelong member of an interdependent socialized species.
It cannot be looked at it any other way.
The system that supports American life is set up to aid its “working parts” in the lawful pursuit of prosperity with liberty and safety. This support system is to aid each of us as we progress through our lives. The labeled we have given to the reward of this pursuit is the American Dream. It is the dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As each of us pursues our version of the American Dream we must seek to
make our own way through life so that we need as little aid as possible. This defines our success as adults
in American society. Laws are in place to establish the parameters or boundaries within which our behavior is to remain. Laws do not control us. We control ourselves and we choose to obey rules and laws. Each of us must make this choice and adhere to it. This is our responsibility not only to our social system, but to Nature’s system as well. Nature’s system requires that each of us make the right, positive choices for our actions.
As citizens of this country, we need the American social structure. It provides the environment we must have to survive in relative safety and comfort while striving toward prosperity. Because of our social structure, our economy, our liberty, our social development, our lifestyle and our military strength, our nation is in the position to accept the role of leadership of the human family. We all must embrace the responsibility that goes along with being American. As a nation we must lead through example by showing the strength of our character, of our spirituality and of our humanity. Our individual and collective lifestyle
is at stake. We are a nation built on the efforts of people from all segments of the world. Culturally however, we do not want to live like the Japanese, the Irish, the Indians or the Africans. We want to live like Americans. To do this, we must commit ourselves to responsibly protecting our way of life from
without and from within.
This may sound like a lot of patriotic mumbo jumbo. However, our need for patriotism and commitment to this nation is a real one. Each of us must truly understand what this means. This nation is formed by the unity of its citizenry. Therefore, the commitment to the nation is truly a commitment to each other. It is a commitment made to each individual citizen by every other citizen. To embrace this on a national level is not an easy task. We will need something more profound than national brotherhood and patriotic love to bind us together. It has to be strong enough to hold us together through very difficult and desperate times. As a matter of course, this nation faces world events that serve as rallying points around which we come together. When we perceive our entire system to be threatened, we are forced to look at the essence of our existence. That essence being the truth that America is one unit. We are individuals belonging to a group of united territories or States. Exterior pressures like communism, nuclear threats, economic interference like oil embargoes and resource manipulation, international and domestic terrorism, and the like force us to come together as a nation to protect to our way of life. During these times, we are distracted from our personal despair because we recognize that without the structure of our nation, we will not have the personal lives to which we have grown accustomed. When these exterior distractions are not a part of our daily lives we lose our national focus and some of us begin to look more closely at our own despair and the troubles within our lives. People start to wallow in their troubles and feel sorry for themselves. These worries lead to feelings
of resentment. People then begin to project their resentment onto others, blaming others for the difficulties
of their personal lives. They look at the benefits others seem to be given by the system and it produces
feelings of anger, which manifests itself in the form of hatred. It is hatred for the people who receive
special” consideration in the form of these benefits, as well as for the system that gives it to them.
Once the hatred takes hold, it becomes difficult to again see the truth because hatred is fueled by emotion and our feelings have a stronger influence on our attitude than does our conscious intellect. That is one of the joys of our makeup, but also one of the hindrances of our humanity. The truth be told, there are privileges set aside for whites, blacks, obese people, impaired people, defectors, immigrants, politicians, business executives, homeless persons, children, adults, civil servants, senior citizens, and more. An individual should maximize and utilize all the advantages available to them while working to minimize any obstacles or hindrances. To question and challenge the existence of aid to people who may or may not need it is not one of the issues that require our focused concern. The issues of concern we need to be focused on are opportunity, balance, and harmony. The reality we must embrace is that God has given each and every one of us a gift to share with humanity to enrich our collective existence, along with a set of trials and tribulations to work through during our lifetime. We must experience both the good and the bad with a smile on our faces and with goodness in our hearts because having these experiences is what living is all about.
In America, our civilized society is built on the foundation of all the major cultures upon our Earth, as evidenced by our history and the nation’s multinational makeup. This "melting pot" of human culture is what makes America the great country that it is; to deny this is to deny reality. There is so much insight and wisdom to be gained from recognizing all of humanity as an animal species, while embracing our humanity within the context of ethnic and individual difference. Each culture and each individual has gifts to add to the melting pot of humanity that we call America. It is the destiny of this nation to be the melting pot. It is within this pot that the combined elements of ethnic diversity and individual difference within the makeup of our population are blended to exhibit the best characteristics of us all. To do this we must manifest the goodness that is within each of us as individuals so that we can reap the benefits of our energy as a collective. Each of us needs to do and be the best we can for ourselves as individuals, to be able to contribute positively to the collective unit. To help one’s self in a positive manner while being part of an interconnected group is to help the collective group unit. This connection between positive action and benefit (or blessing) is the most profound element of our reality. The greatness and joy of embracing this truth is that one does not have to give up the experience of individual satisfaction because it is a necessary element of collective satisfaction. This is a part of the system of Nature.
Many Americans have not been dealing with the circumstances of their lives in a wholly positive manner because of the selfishness that exists within all of us along with pressures that exist in our society. We need faith to deal with our selfishness and we need hope to deal with the social pressures. Faith will result from
our acceptance of the truths of our spirituality. Hope will require a lot of structural reform along with the mature growth of both our intellectual and spiritual understanding. We need a strong positive value system that is embraced by us all as was once the case. There was a time when all in our society embraced the concept of our citizenry working together to create a country for us all to live in. The goal then was to work
to create a place to live comfortably and raise our families. Other smaller countries with fewer resources
than we have are besting us economically and it is all in the pursuit of the standard of living that we take
for granted. They are doing it because they are working together with a common goal. We have to recapture this same focus. It is that spirit that helped the founding fathers build this nation. To say that it cannot be done is a lie and a cop-out, because we all know that in times of war and disaster, the men and women our country have proven they can respond as a united, patriotic team. Our goal and focus as a nation has to be the perpetuation of the greatness of America to preserve and improve our way of life for ourselves as well
as the generations that will follow us. We must collectively embrace the truth that we must modify our social system by restructuring the controls and objectives of our government in conjunction with modifying our personal behavior to deal with our future in a positive manner. This is mandated by our social situation, coupled with our being engulfed within the computer age. If the human race is to survival, we all must now consciously embrace our need to evolve to the next stage in the development of our species. If we do not evolve, we will have condemned our species to extinction. As we evolve, so too must our social systems
evolve so that our lives are adequately supported. Our current systems were created to deal with a set
of circumstances. We must now restructure these systems and create new guidelines for our new set of circumstances. Restructuring is a natural part of evolution and we must all embrace it.
It is the responsibility of every American citizen to help make this country better. Being a part of the system of America is like working for a business or corporation. You may not own the business, but you recognize the stake you have in its success. By working in the interest of the company, you enrich your own life. Some of the company’s employees you may like and some you may not like. Nevertheless, you keep that to yourself, you do not run around expressing your inner feelings because they are not relevant to the company as a whole and they are counterproductive to the work environment. You take care of your responsibilities irrespective of anyone else, as does everyone else. You are all a part of the same group,
the company; you are all a team. If everyone fulfills their role and does their job, the company runs smoothly. The better individuals of the company do their jobs, the better the company is able to function or perform. Once this happens, each individual member of the company will become enriched. There are roles or jobs
to be filled. You accept the job you are qualified to do. If you want to move up, you learn the skill that will afford you that opportunity. It is the same way within our society.
As a part of our belief system, we must believe in the ideal of America. We must believe in its structure,
its purpose, and its people. We need a system of existence, a structure like America to provide us with the opportunity to be safe, to pursue and to achieve. This country provides each of us with the opportunity to
live as we desire as individuals. This is why America exists. Our lives in America are the epitome of what
we as conscious, civilized animals can achieve in terms of cooperative interaction on a grand scale.
We must all accept the fact that all living things must exist within the context of a system. Therefore,
we too must act and react within the constraints or parameters of a system. We must live by rules.
Each of us needs to have the liberty to express every element of our being in a positive manner.
Freedom of expression is a part of the foundation of America. We as American citizens have the
greatest opportunities before us that humankind has ever known. It is we the people of America
that must come together as a unit to form a more perfect union.