This I believe:
Since I was a little girl in the 1970’s, I have noticed a big change in the way in Americans view and understand the world and the role we play in it. When Nixon resigned in 1972, I actually remember that moment. I was sitting in my high chair next to the dinner table watching the old black and white on the counter with my family. My father mumbled something about him ‘being such a crook’ as I imagined every father at every kitchen table, saying something pretty much to the same effect at that moment. Why do I possess this memory? I’m not sure probably because I had been born after a man walked on the moon, and this was the next big thing.
I remember other instances such as: the American Hostage crisis in Iran, the gas shortages when my parents flipped out over having to pay more than a dollar per gallon of gas, (Ha!) and being terrified of nuclear war… But what strikes me most about those days versus today was that all of the adults in my world were talking about what was happening. There was a collective consciousness about world events, things happening in our country, and an understanding that most people saw things for how they were. I always believed that we were the one nation who understood what the truth was because of our access to information and freedom of the press. Also, the comparison impressed upon us as young students between the freedom’s we had in the US and that of the former Soviet Union was a great source of pride we had for our country.
I look back on how things changed right around the time of cable television. This technological revolution coupled with the Reagan era politics forever change the course of US politics and world history.
Later I noticed during my early adolescence was the rapid acceleration of pop culture, as well as the intensity level and variety of distractions available to us. What is now available in terms of amusements and distractions is mind-boggling. It used to be that you would have to either go to Atlantic City or Las Vegas to gamble; now you can gamble nearly everywhere 24/7. There are hundreds of television channels, music stations, the Internet, shopping, you name it, it is out there. The tragedy embedded in all of this wonderful flourish of creativity and access to niche interests is that we have lost sight of the big picture.
The last eight years for me have difficult in that I have lost a LOT of sleep worrying about the world, and then worrying if anyone else was paying attention to the state of affairs in the world. We have some really, really big problems. We have economic, environmental, educational and international relation crises all over the place. And we have turned these issues into sound bites such as: “The freedom-hating terrorists”. Statements like these say absolutely nothing. They explain nothing, mean nothing and solve nothing.
I hunger for truth. I hunger for my fellow citizens of this great nation to come together and listen, really listen to what is going on. I long for competency in my nation’s leader’s to do the right thing, to get the job done, and be effective in doing so without all of the spin and non-issue nonsense that often dominates the main stream media news cycles.
I do believe that we are like no other nation in the history of the world, capable of the most extraordinary things if only we are paying attention to the bigger picture of what’s happening around us at this very moment in time.
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