My soul had been filled with hope and new energy upon my return from the Dominican Republic. Being back in the United States and listening to politics-as-usual, senseless shootings of innocent girls, and the general ridiculousness of our society I have found my soul aching with the same feeling that I had before I went on my trip. It is no wonder that many teenagers have an empty feeling nowadays. Can someone please tell me what we have to be joyful about in the United States other than the obvious freedoms that come with our representative democracy? Yes, freedoms are great to have, but if you feel there is no hope how can you make the most of those freedoms? If you feel like there is nothing more to life than the disconnected relationships we have and the latest X-box game, how can you feel love and hope. I know I do not find joy in the crap coming out of Hollywood. Yet most people tend to spend most of their free time watching TV instead of talking or reading or living.
Our society is in decay. If you have not noticed this you need to get your head out of the sand. I have said it a hundred times and I will say it again. We have come to value selfishness over selflessness. We have come to believe that the American Dream is to be famous. We value things more than people. We have lost touch with what is important because we value money over relationships. We need to reconnect with each other on a more personal level than a My Space page or a blackberry. Take a look at the news for all the evidence of how our society is rotting. More prisoners than we know what to do with. Violent crimes against children. Sexual exploitation being sold on the internet, TV, and radio. People killing people over the most trivial things.
The true American dream I believe is the dream of most every person on this planet (I say most because there is the minority whose dream is to inflict suffering on everyone else). The American dream is to have the opportunity to do unique and creative and awesome things no matter where you come from. From the simplest to the complex; whatever it may be it is the dream within each of us to soar and achieve whatever we set our mind to. That is what makes humans so unique. We have the ability to reach for the stars. We have that imagination. We can have that determination. We must recapture that dream. We must hold it within our souls so that it may warm us and comfort us even during the most trying times. We owe that to our parents, our grandparents, our children, and our grandchildren.
I do not have all the answers. I just know with every fiber of my being that we are heading towards a cliff. The only way to avoid the cliff is to turn away from it. We must figure out what is really important and what is not and make changes in our lives so that our children do not grow up to be selfish empty shells.
The start is as simple as turning off the TV and computer. Reach out to a real person.