What Goes Around Comes Around

It’s human nature to feel the need to take advantage of a situation that is favorable to us. When something happens that puts us in a position to get what we want, we are all too quick to jump on the opportunity and we rarely think about the consequences of what seizing that moment might mean. In our tunnel vision focused on our goals, we act without really thinking about all the variables.

This is particularly true in our politics today. As power shifts from one political party to the other, there is a mad dash to cram as much legislation through the process as possible before the currently elected officials are voted out and the other side takes control. It is rare for either side to truly work with the other to get things done, and we are constantly watching as one side considers some sort of “nuclear option” to cram some random piece of law through the system in an attempt to bypass negotiation.

The problem is that this sort of diplomacy is exactly what has created many of the problems our country faces today. Rather than working together in common cause, we choose to fight for what we have decided are the most important things in a “my way or the highway” attitude. As we push our own agendas at the expense of respect, we fall further down the dark pathway of cloak and dagger backstabbing. Nothing really gets done because each side is at war with each other rather than figuring out where we can compromise.

What neither side seems to understand is that it is exactly these sorts of actions that cause more problems down the road. They are each stabbing themselves in the foot every time they try to unilaterally pass some sort of one sided ideological bill. The mad dash while they are in power causes them to forget that at some point the other side will have the reigns and it will be they who end up having to deal with the revenge of the other side.

This is the result of a society that has shirked any idea of mutual respect in favor of ideological agendas. We no longer believe in the idea of “live and let live”, because we all think that we know better than everyone else and have a responsibility to force people to “wake up”. It isn’t enough to just do our own thing and live our best lives for ourselves. We have to stick our fingers into the lives of others in an attempt to “fix them”.

We have a very visceral example of the unfortunate consequences of this sort of behavior when we examine gang violence. In that environment, each side believes it has to “one up” the other side once a conflict erupts between two factions. It starts with one killing, but the code of retaliation requires that eventually an all out war is started on the streets as each side attempts to subdue the other.

Politics is no different, and the stakes are no less deadly. For the moment, it doesn’t directly involve the loss of life, though if we look at the unintended consequences that can certainly be the case. For some, the direct consequences are far worse than losing one’s life; it is the loss of the freedoms that our country was founded on. As each side tries to force it’s own way, it forces a reaction from the other side and things escalate just the same way as happens in gang violence, and the cost is the freedom of each side to live their lives as they see fit.

There needs to be a new peace revolution in our nation where all sides make a commitment to pursuing legislation that provides both sides with as many of the things that they want as possible. There are certain things that we will never agree on, and it will require serious compromise between the political parties to come to some sort of middle ground that allows us to move forward. This simply can’t happen until both sides decide that respect is more important than winning. If we can adjust the way we approach each other and remember that “what goes around comes around” we can be in a far better position to heal the division in our nation.

What do you think about forcing your way on others? Have we become a nation that is totally fine with trampling on others to get our way, or is there hope for a more respectful dialogue in our politics? What steps can we take to get back to a place where we can truly respect our politicians? These are important questions to be answered if we want to have any hope of maintaining our position as the greatest country on the planet.

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The Danger of Drones

In a previous article, we discussed automating our military and some of the possible ominous things that might come about as we turn more and more of our lives over to machines and the small group of people who control them. It is truly terrifying to imagine a nefarious, power hungry organization in control of enough military hardware to kill citizens at will and indiscriminately. We obviously tend to doubt that it will actually come to that, but freedom requires vigilance and these are the kinds of things we have to think about to keep it.

On another facet, one of the things that this brave new world of automation introduces is the risk of further diminishing our ability to maintain privacy in our lives. We have already given up so much in the form of social media and the use of public cameras and software that tracks every bit of information available about us to be sold to big corporations. The odds of maintaining any vestige of privacy at all seems bleak in the face of what technology is pushing these days.

Specifically, we are seeing a push for automated drone deliveries of materials by companies like Amazon, who has already begun the major testing push to get the service started in some areas of the country. On the surface, this sounds like an amazing feat of technology…and it is. However, there is potentially a dark side to this new way of brining goods to our doorsteps: mobile surveillance.

Anyone who watches YouTube on a regular basis is quite aware of the fact that small, portable drones have been used for more than a decade to record those amazing aerial shots we all love to watch. Attaching a camera to these drones was one of the first things that people thought to do when the devices became available, and there is an entire career field out there for professional drone pilots. The demand for high quality overhead footage isn’t going anywhere, and drones are becoming more and more a part of our daily lives.

Where this gets a bit scary is when we consider the fact that there are so many types of small, lightweight cameras out there that can be attached to drones just like the ones that Amazon is using. Imagine delivery drones buzzing around with an array of cameras collecting all sorts of information about people as they zip past us. Regular cameras for navigation, thermal cameras to peek inside houses and get an idea of how many people live in a given place, and facial recognition software to track people as they move about.

If this sounds paranoid to you, you might be right, but sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. We already know that there is a major push by law enforcement to ramp up the use of facial recognition software to track people as they move about, which is a huge threat to the privacy of all citizens. It has been long established that the phone companies have been giving the government data on US citizens for a very long time now. With this sort of precedent, it isn’t really much of stretch to imagine the federal intelligence agencies tapping companies like Amazon to add a few devices to their innocuous looking drones.

The reality is that we live in a world where there are two types of people: those of us who want to be left alone, and those who believe they know better and should be running things. If you are part of the former, you are at a significant disadvantage because we tend to do our own thing while the latter group together to try to wrestle control from the rest of us. They have no regard for what we think is right or wrong, only that they have an agenda and will go to any length to make it happen. If you get trampled in the process, then so be it.

I’m not sure what we can really do about it at this point, other than pointing out the possible dangers involved with moving forward with things like this. The more people are educated, the better the chance we have of banding together and pushing back against the people in the world who believe that they are somehow qualified to tell the rest of us what to do. Fighting it requires behaving in a way that is unnatural to us, but unfortunately freedom isn’t free, as the saying goes.

What do you think about drone deliveries? Is it only an awesome new technology that will add a new convenience to our lives, or is it a threat to our privacy? Are you comfortable with corporately operated drones buzzing around your home? What if we found out the government was using them to spy on us? These are important questions, and if you look a little deeper, they aren’t nearly as crazy as they first sound.

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We Want More Positivity and Less Politics

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you have noticed that I try to split my time between covering political issues that are important to me and more broad philosophical or self improvement topics that you can hopefully use to start figuring out things about yourself. As I continue to write and post and monitor traffic to the blog, as modest as it is in this early stage, I have noticed a decided lean toward the self help side of the spectrum. This isn’t particularly surprising, as our political discourse these days tends to be highly negative and self help is almost universally a positive thing.

It’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of political narratives and enter into a state of pure hopelessness as we watch the world descend into perceived chaos around us. History has shown us that societies work in cycles, with long periods of peace and success interlaced with explosive bursts of violence and unrest. As we move further into the rest of this decade, we can expect it to only get worse before it gets better.

I myself notice that I tend to gravitate toward news articles, mostly because I want to get a feel for what is going on in the world around me. Nearly all of what I watch when it comes to this kind of thing relates to politics and the things that are happening that will have some sort of effect on the life I want to live. It’s easy to become discouraged and forget to swing back to the more positive side of things.

In a previous article, I mentioned that people tend to label me a pessimist, and in many cases they are probably right. Yet I find hope even when I’m faced with all of the political negativity that our society faces today. There are changes brewing in our nation that seem to be the start of the natural swing of the pendulum away from one side of the spectrum back to the other. The light at the end of the current tunnel is getting closer and closer and we all yearn to step back into the sunshine.

Where I have to start being a bit more observant is starting to shift my attention a bit more away from politics and more onto the side of providing what insight I can into the issues that normal people deal with every day. It seems like there is a massive craving in our society today for anyone to step up and start addressing the massive personal and emotional and discipline issues that the last few generations have never learned to deal with, including mine. As I myself work through these complex problems, I try to post them here so that my readers and get another perspective on whatever problems they are dealing with.

Not being a certified therapist, and apparently having that decidedly pessimistic streak, it would be easy for me to shy away from giving advice to people about the big problems that we all deal with. The reality is that it isn’t a piece of paper that makes one qualified to help others. Life experience is just as valuable as a textbook, and many times it is the individual experience we gain through life that is the most helpful to those who need it most. That’s what makes us truly care about those around us because we went through the same things.

I’m not sure how much I can help in this regard, but it is clear to me that my readers seem to be more interested in the positive, helpful articles than the philosophical and political posts. That doesn’t mean I plan on giving up on putting my point of view out there, but it does mean I want to be open to breaking down more of the issues that will help you more directly. We all yearn for a guide, and while I may not be the absolute most qualified person, it is clear to me that I can at least be helpful to some degree.

To that end, it is my hope that you will take a moment to share something that is important to you, or make a request for an article about an issue that would be helpful to you. Collaboration in this environment is important, and it is clear that most of us are no longer looking for someone to speak into the void without considering the needs of those we are speaking to. We want to feel included, and I can understand that. I don’t expect this to become an “advice column”, but frankly it is up to the readers to decide what they value and it is for me to provide what you need to the best of my ability. One person can only do so much on their own.

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What Happened to American Skepticism?

There was a time in this country when we believed in the idea of “trust but verify”. We understood that most people try to be good, but a lot of the time they either make mistakes or get seduced by power or money or whatever else they find enticing. There was enough of an understanding of history amongst the populace that we remembered the horrible wars and power grabs and terrible events that transpired to cause us to seek our freedom.

This was especially true in our media, who were the watchdogs for the truth. Fifty years ago there was a burning desire to find hidden secrets and expose the lies that our leadership was trying to feed us. Journalism was noble profession, respected by the average person and feared by the government. There was an excitement to picking up the newspaper or tuning in to the daily news broadcast as we looked forward to hearing about what was going on in our country and the world.

Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case for most of us anymore. The average American isn’t very concerned with the news anymore. We vaguely follow the major stories that get enough media hype to grab our attention, but for the most part there is no reverence for journalism anymore. This is not the fault of American citizens, but a result of an increasing bias in those charged with bringing us the truth. As they have pledged their allegiance not to the flag but to their ideological agendas, many of us have come to trust them less and less.

The title of this blog is a lack of American skepticism, but the issue is somewhat contradictory. I would say that there is certainly a healthy skepticism when it comes to information coming from our political or ideological opponents, but the word skepticism implies that you’re willing to accept what you’re being told and just need some verifying facts to confirm the truth of it. What we have today is flat out rejection of anything that doesn’t align with our pre-established viewpoints.

It is difficult to imagine how we can move forward in a healthy way into the future with minds so closed to things that don’t sit well with us. Many of the advances we’ve made in the scientific fields were completely counterintuitive at the time and were strongly opposed by the public at large. The difference between then and now is that once the facts were organized and presented in a rational way, most people were willing to hear what they didn’t want to hear and change their minds. This just isn’t so common anymore.

Extremism has become the norm in the world today. Not necessarily violent extremism, but a clannish grouping of people into ideological camps that removes any chance for finding a peaceful solution to anything. The crazy thing about it is that most people are both blind followers and rabid deniers all in the same breath. We are willing to blindly follow someone who says “all the right things” regardless of their competency or background, but turn right around and completely discount the most qualified and effective people from the other side of the aisle because we just don’t like what they have to say.

There is a lot of dichotomy in our society that is causing the division we see so strongly today. The polarization is quite strongly influenced by our inability to develop a healthy skepticism of the information we are being given. Discernment is a skill that must be taught, either by direct experience or by those who have learned it the hard way. It is the quality that keeps us from jumping into dangerous situations or making bad decisions, and we have lost it in the fervor of ideological propaganda. It seems now that the only way it can come back is for all of us to relearn it the hard way. If we don’t, then there is little hope for our future.

What do you think about being skeptical? Do you trust your media outlet, or do you look for facts to back up their claims? Does the sensationalizing of events cause you to pause and question the motives of the organization? We should never blindly trust anyone, and when the warning flags start raising, it is time to step back and start digging a little deeper. Until our media wakes up and gets back to their roots, it is up to us to maintain a healthy skepticism.

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Lack of Focus in News Media

America has become such a silly place. We fawn over ridiculous people in the hopes that they will entertain us enough that we can ignore the mundane lives in which we live. Many of us would go hours out of our way just to catch a glimpse of someone with even a glimmer of celebrity. The propping up of other people simply for their ability to perform is as old as time, but we Americans have taken the concept to an entirely new level. It’s more like worship.

The spark for this post is the numerous news articles in the wake of the Oscars talking about who won what and who was where and what was important about it all. It is mind boggling to me that in a world with so many serious issues our news media has nothing better to report on than a silly awards show. We have war brewing with China, a government bent on limiting our freedoms, and a pandemic that should be over but isn’t. Why are our newsfeeds filled with the Oscars?

Perhaps one could make the argument that it’s a break from all the doom and gloom of the world, and that’s a fair point, but it seems to me that there are a million higher quality “feel good” stories out there to lift our spirits. Give us articles about charity or nature preservation or crime prevention. How about stories of international congeniality or major deals made for the country or the advance of our space program? Anything other than the shallow, mindlessness of Hollywood.

It is understandable that there will be at least a few articles covering such a regular major event, but when there are more than a dozen throughout the course of the day it seems to me that we have a problem with focus. The attention of the American public should be primarily fixed on the important issues facing the country. The Oscars should be a minor distraction, not a major news story.

This is the state of news media overall. Regardless of who you watch, you’re either getting a politically sanitized version of a story, or you’re getting some kind of distraction piece to keep your attention off the issues that the “elites” of this country don’t want you to watch. It’s that same old magic trick of our focus being kept on one hand so we don’t see what the other is doing.

We used to trust our news media as a solid source of important information that we needed to know to make good decisions. Now it is just another channel on the endless list of time wasting television. It is a sad state of affairs when you have to rely on platforms like YouTube and small, independent content creators to get independent, fact based information on current events. It used to be Walter Cronkite; now it’s John Q. Public.

At some point, the public will finally start to shake off big media and there will be a shift in how information is conveyed. It’s already starting to happen. You likely already have several sources outside of the big media companies where you get your information. As they continue to grab desperately for our attention, they are only forcing us more rapidly through their fingers. Perhaps it’s time for them to fade away.

What do you think about big media? Are they covering the information you want to know about, or is it mostly just fluff? How much longer do you think they can survive in this new era of bad information combined with smaller, independent journalism? At some point, they are going to have to get back to their roots, or they won’t make it much longer. People crave truth, and we aren’t getting it from big media.

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Vaccine Passports Are Coming

As much as I hate it, it looks like vaccine passports are going to become a thing whether we like it or not. The European Union will allow free travel as early as this summer for people who have been fully vaccinated, but the problem with this is that we all know that the only way to prove you’ve been vaccinated is to carry documentation certifying you received the required doses. The fact that there is a stipulation on this is proof positive that the idea of vaccine passports will become a requirement for international travel in the future.

This isn’t necessarily the most ridiculous thing in the world. To get a passport at all, you have to provide quite a bit of information about yourself that you don’t necessarily want to spread around. When it comes to international travel, there are a lot of hoops you end up having to jump through to get from one place to another. You accept a lot more than you normally would to go visit family back home in another state.

Where this really concerns me is that the hysteria here in America has created a fertile environment for the introduction of new laws cracking down on the average American’s ability to move around unrestricted. We have never had any requirement in this country to have any documentation whatsoever to be able to freely live our lives. But this new idea of making vaccinations a requirement to get back to normal is extremely troubling.

I’ve made comparisons in the past to the “show me your papers” mentality of the Soviet Union, and we live in a country that is supposed to be diametrically opposed to such a philosophy. I believe that a majority of Americans oppose the idea of having to carry around a document to prove they’re allowed to do things they used to be able to do by default. The problem is that most people are too afraid of confrontation to question anything anymore, and they will simply submit to the new process to get back to “normal” as quickly and painlessly as possible.

At some point, we’re going to have to draw the line with how much we will allow our government to micromanage our lives. Are they big and powerful? Yes, but only because we allow them to be. The population of this country is more than 300 million, whereas the federal government employs around two million, including our military. We are simply too big a country for politicians to have any real hold over us beyond what we allow them. When we decide we’re done, they’re done.

The trick is getting enough people to wake up and start pushing back against the power hungry people we have leading our nation. Power is ultimately an illusion, and the people running the country are living the lie that they can do whatever they want and get away with it. This is only true as long as we believe the lie along with them. In the end, we outnumber them millions to one, and all it takes is for us to say enough is enough to stop them in their tracks.

We need not fear our police or military. Having served myself, I can tell you that no military service member would follow orders that brought unnecessary harm to American civilians, and most police departments are the same. Perhaps in some of the more liberal cities there would be outliers that went along with the corrupt politicians, but I think we’ve seen that most precincts in more reasonable places refuse to enforce un-Constitutional laws and receive public support.

There needs to be a willful uprising in this country. Not a violent one, but a firm and resolute protest against the people who seem to think that we are all pieces to be moved on a board for their benefit. Anyone who reads this article is a unique individual with their own hopes and dreams and plans for the future. We need to stop allowing those things to be trampled by greedy, power hungry individuals who crave control.

The vaccine passport is yet another step down a highly regulated, strictly ordered society that places power in the hands of a few. While all by itself it might not seem so bad, it isn’t the first attempt at trying to curb our freedoms, and it certainly won’t be the last. The world is a better place when we all have the ability to freely interact with each other and the awesome places in the world. Let’s not allow our fear coerce us into capitulating to the whims of the power hungry politicians.

What do you think about the vaccine passport? Are you willing to live with it to “get your life back”? Or is it something sinister we should be fighting? At some point, we will have to push back against the oppressors of the world. The vaccine passport might be the issue we need to stand up to. No single issue will ever seem big enough to justify, but the slippery slope demands that even small issues be fought.

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Some People Are Worth Listening To…Some Aren’t

Have you ever gotten to the point with someone where just the mention of their name makes you cringe? There are certain people in the world who have the ability to set my teeth on edge, and I can’t get through more than a few seconds of their speaking before I feel disgust and anger rising in my body. This is most especially true in some of the more popular figures on the extreme left who clearly don’t think through what they say, instead spewing forth crazy theories and “pie in the sky” ideas that have no basis in reality.

I try really hard to not pre-judge people simply because they belong to a group I don’t necessarily agree with. Democrats in general are not on my list of people that I avoid at all cost, mostly because the majority of them are just regular people with regular lives just trying to get by. They might have some pretty unrealistic ideas about how the world works, but for the most part they tend to be pretty reasonable, even if they vote for very unreasonable people. You can’t really fault them for having bad leadership.

That said, after a while you start to get to know someone, even based on what they say in public, and there are certain people who cause me to roll my eyes and sigh in frustration every time they open their mouth. One such figure is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Most of the things that I’ve ever heard her say would have been shocking to imagine a public figure saying even ten years ago, but the political landscape has changed and elected officials can apparently say whatever they want now.

For example, the impetus for this article was listening to her talk about how racism and colonization somehow had an effect on climate change. I have not one idea how there is any correlation between these completely disparate things, but in typical fashion she has brute forced her way into tying a knot between two issues that have absolutely nothing to do with one another. It doesn’t have to make sense, mostly because she speaks with enough passion that people who aren’t paying attention just accept what she says. It’s scary to watch.

The most ridiculous thing that bothers me about AOC, among other recently elected politicians, is that she has no background or expertise to be speaking out on such topics. She is most famous for having been elected while working as a bartender, and while she does have a degree, that degree is in international relations and economics. I would love to know where in her experience that she is an authority on anything related to real science. Despite this lack of knowledge, she feels free to get on stage and chastise the rest of us using “facts” that have nothing to do with reality.

Perhaps that is the goal, really. The extreme left knows that they’re never going to get their way through rational discussion. They’ve tried that for decades with no real movement. It may be that their goal now is to simply throw out as many ridiculous ideas as possible in an effort to get the rest of us to become so frustrated and tired of hearing them that we just start giving in to shut them up. The more I think about it, the more I start to believe that is really what is going on. I’m sure some of the people saying these things are not very smart and actually believe it, but you can’t tell me that they all just turned off their brains. There is definitely something more sinister going on here.

The only thing we can do at this point is to continue exposing the lies and pushing back against the insanity. As the far left goes further and further into the abyss of ridiculousness, more and more people will begin rolling their eyes and yearning for the times when we could simply live our lives like we used to. It was amusing for a while to watch people like AOC throw temper tantrums on the floor of Congress, but it’s time for the grown ups to take back the wheel.

What do you think about passionate idiots? How did they become so prevalent in our society today? What measures can we take to limit the damage they cause and get them out of power? America is at a crossroads, and it is up to those of us who still use reason to ensure that we take the right path. We can no longer leave the big decisions up to intellectually deficient politicians who are more interested in likes on social media than making good decisions for the country.

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Weimar Republic 2.0: We Never Learn

It is a scary time in America. Fear and hate and opportunism is rampant in our country today, and the path we are taking is eerily close to the path that took us to the Second World War. Some are too involved in their cause to see it, some are too worried about their own affairs to notice it, and most of us are simply too afraid to speak out about it. It is a powder keg waiting to explode.

There are unsettling parallels between what is going on in America today and what was going on in Germany during the 1930’s. COVID-19 has created a circumstances that are similar to what was going on prior to the Nazi Party taking power. This time around we don’t see a singular, powerful leader orchestrating the charge forward into government control, but there is an inevitable movement from the republican form of democratic government toward an autocratic form of government that is hailed as the solution to all of our problems.

What is the most disturbing is that the reason that we are headed down this path is exactly the same reason that this happened nearly a century ago. The average person was simply too scared to speak out against the vocal minorities who took to the streets to make their desires clear. Obviously the situation was very different, as the average person in that country at that time was struggling through the Great Depression and the suffering was objectively far worse compared to what we’re going through now, but the general concept still applies. Weak people who couldn’t or wouldn’t stand up for what was right.

When the Nazi party started persecuting the Jews, most Germans did have a racial bias against them, but most of them had no desire to truly harm anyone. They may have wanted them gone, but they recognized the evil inherent in what the activists were doing at the time. It was because they viewed them as the enemy that they justified it in their minds as being acceptable. Good people who knew better allowed evil people to commit acts of atrocity because they were too afraid of the consequences, and it was easier to just let it happen.

This is what is happening in America today. We watch the riots, listen to disingenuous politicians and ignore the erosion of our freedom one law at a time, too afraid of what might happen to us to make an issue of it. The average person tends to be pretty conservative, even most Democrats, but those voices get drowned out under the constant dissatisfaction of those who can’t do anything else but complain. Allowing this infant like behavior to go unchecked has allowed the tantrum throwing children of our nation to gain far more influence than they should.

America seems to be a nation on the decline, not because of far left radicals who are convincing the public of their ideals, but because of a weak and uninformed population. We have been neatly divided into those who willingly conform and those who are too afraid to speak up for themselves. There are simply too few who object to make any significant difference and stem the tide.

If we want to have any chance of avoiding what happened to so many other countries that descended into madness, it will require the average person breaking out of their shell and making their voices heard. Like any bully, it is only up until the point that they meet true resistance that they seem so big and powerful. Once we stand up against them and show them we are not afraid, they will slink back to the shadows to cower in fear and wait for another chance to snake their way in. All it takes is a bit of courage.

What do you think about the extremism in our society today? Do you spend every day wondering how we got here? Does it feel like there is no way to turn back? It’s never too late to start doing the right thing, and we can make a difference if we simply stand our ground. Nothing worth doing is without risk, but the cost of accepting the current path of our nation is far worse than anything that might happen fighting for what’s right. Freedom isn’t free, and sometimes we have to personally pay the cost.

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Why Is Racism Still An Issue?

We live in a country that has made major strides over two centuries to move forward from the archaic viewpoints of the past. From a time when people were used as beasts of burden to a modern world where every person has inalienable rights, the United States is at the forefront of liberty and is one of the most free nations on the planet. There are still many problems to solve, but perhaps the most puzzling issue that still exists today is the rampant fixation on race that still persists in our culture.

One would think that after the Civil Rights Movement peaked in the 1960’s we would be eager to move past discussions of race and start seeing past the color of our skins, but no one seems willing to put it aside. There seems to be a morbid fascination with comparing ourselves with each other based on what we look like. It doesn’t seem to matter what a person does; our viewpoint of an individual seems highly predicated on what cultural background they hail from.

At least, this is certainly the case in the “main stream” of society. They can’t seem to get enough of grouping us into neat little categories based on pretty colors. It seems that getting any more complicated than that is far too difficult for such simple minds to grasp. We call our country a “melting pot” because we are such a mix of different cultures, but apparently the people who are supposedly leading our country have an impulsive need to categorize us like biologists classify animals.

Perhaps that is part of the problem though. We are fairly unique in the world when it comes to the diversity of our population. Virtually every other country has a singular culture that has developed in isolation over time. Countries like China or Iran or Venezuela are all monocultural, and it is easy for them to ignore a concept like race most of the time because they are all the same. Maybe it is because we have so many different people with different backgrounds and different ideas that we struggle to put this arbitrary classification system behind us. It’s easy to see past skin color when you’re all the same.

Unfortunately, we will have to put in the hard work to get past these unreasonable prejudices that continue to plague our society. This means we need to adopt an attitude that removes race from consideration in all aspects. The most logical assumption that can be made is that race continues to be an issue because we allow it to be. We continue to put up with people who keep dredging the issue back up. It is only when we stop fixating on something that it finally starts to truly fade away.

That doesn’t mean we should forget the past, however. Things like slavery and discrimination are terrible things that should never be repeated, and American history has a lot of blood and dirt included in the amazing things that we’ve accomplished. We should never forget what happened and the people who pushed us forward, but at some point we need to decide as a people that we will no longer tolerate behavior that is motivated by grouping people by skin color or culture.

Martin Luther King, Jr. famously stated that his dream was to live in a country where all races could live peacefully together as one nation united. We used to view that speech with reverence and awe, imagining a world where all the children of the world held hands in harmony, completely free of the idea of racial discrimination. As long as we continue to push ideologies that include racial categorization, that dream can never truly be a reality. It must be purged from our thought processes and our attention focused on the individual as a person, not a label.

What do you think about racism in America? Why does it still persist? What can we do to finally get to a place where we stop making such an issue of it? This old wound just doesn’t seem to want to heal, and until we purge the infection from our society there can be no chance for peace. It is long past time to stop making things about the color of our skin, but instead start focusing on the content of our character.

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You Don’t Have Anything to Say Until You’ve Lived a Little

At some point in our society, the youth of our nation began taking the stage and pushing forward new ideas that they felt made sense to them. At some point, the elders of our society began allowing this to happen, perhaps thinking that fresh and new ideas were a good thing. This is true to some point, but when taken too far it begins causing some serious problems for the people who tend to know better. Like a burst dam, once the flow begins, it is very difficult to stop.

There used to be a time in the world where elders were respected and listened to. The wisdom of life is a very valuable thing, but it is unfortunately not until you begin truly learning that wisdom yourself that you truly begin to understand that value. The new ideas we have when we are young that sound so great when we don’t know any better become bitter pills later on in life as we look back at what could have been easily avoided if we had learned the lessons from the past.

This is not to say that all new ideas are bad. Our species has moved forward so quickly because of amazing new ideas that propelled us into new realms of science and philosophy. The American form of democracy is a shining example of brave new thoughts that have stood the test of time. But if we really look at the best ideas…the ones that truly last…we see that they rarely come from someone who was barely old enough to have left their parents.

Human beings have a huge capacity for ingenuity, but most of the time that capacity on its own isn’t enough to create something truly wonderful. Almost invariably, there is some sort of struggle involved in the process. There has to be something to be overcome to prompt us to think outside the box and come up with something new. This is where we come up with that ubiquitous axiom “necessity is the mother of all invention”. We come up with things when we need them.

One of the downsides to our modern society that has everything at its fingertips is that there isn’t any real struggle anymore, at least not in the mainstream public. Certainly there are areas of our nation where people live in poverty or have other adverse conditions, but for the most part the average American enjoys a sense of security and prosperity unparalleled in history. We worry about things, but we never have to truly face those heart stopping moments that our ancestors had to deal with. We are safe in our protected little bubbles.

Still, our biology includes as part of its makeup a drive to move forward. It doesn’t matter that most people don’t have any real reason to do anything more than grind through the routine of their lives. There is a primal passion within us that must be satisfied, and we will go to any length to find whatever it is that will satisfy that need to move forward. And to do that we are willing to smash that safe little bubble to pieces for the smallest of chances that the result will turn out better than what we had.

This is where wisdom is supposed to come in. The elders of our society are supposed to pull back on the reins of the young, disciplining them in the ways of the past because the lessons they’ve already learned has shown us that rocking the boat unnecessarily is dangerous and stupid. Many of the “new” ideas have already been tried, and going back to revisit them is simply a waste of time and effort and sometimes lives. We have guides to the future if we can just learn to listen to them.

Unfortunately, the elders of our time have refused to put their foots down, choosing instead to pass the torch before the next generation is ready to take it. They have retired early, seeking the easy life by allowing their children to run free with little or no supervision. The wise among us have stepped out, leaving the idealistic and undisciplined and untested to hold the reins and take us wherever they want to go. With such inept control, the horse will wander wherever it chooses, free from the skilled hands of someone who knows better.

The reality is that new ideas are great and all, but you really do have to live a little before you can really have something to say that actually matters. You have to try things out and learn to fail properly, figuring out along the way what works and what doesn’t. It requires learning to be patient and seeing an issue from all sides before leaping forward into the unknown. This comes not only from living our lives, but learning from the lives of those who came before. It is a gift given to us from the previous generations, learning from both their successes and failures. As the saying goes: “those who forget history are doomed to repeat it”.

This message will always fall on deaf ears when it comes to the young. They are full of energy and inspiration and a drive to change things to fit their image of the world. It is on those of us who have lived a while to pull them back, calming them down and getting them to look at the world properly. It’s great to think outside the box, but before you can really do that you need to understand the box. You need to know what in the box is good and what is bad, why they are good or bad, and which of the bad things you can reasonably change. It is only then that you can start really starting to make a positive difference.

The problem is that it can take a lifetime to learn enough about the box to start making a change, and the young simply won’t wait. This is why it is up to those who know better to stop putting up with the impatience of youth and start pulling back on those reins. The chaos only continues as long as the wise among us allow it to. We need to stop being lazy and start speaking out against the clearly bad ideas that our youth is coming up with. We also need to start speaking out against those elders who never had the benefit of being guided by the wise and are continuing to push bad philosophies.

What do you think about the wisdom of those who came before? Do they have lessons we can learn, or should we go our own way? Sometimes new isn’t always better, and learning from the past is an important part of moving into the future. It is up to those who came before to temper the youth so we can find the right balance between what is new and what is good for us.

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