This I Believe

Christina - Palm Desert, California
Entered on May 30, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Fitzgerald once wrote, “I know myself…but that is all”. I feel that it is necessary to qualify this statement before I begin my assessment of modern society. Any assumptions, critiques, or commentary I make are only in relation to what I have experienced within my sheltered existence. With this being said, I am willing to make the blunt assertion here and now that half of America is illiterate and/or ignorant by choice. I believe that America is intentionally “dumbing itself down” so as to make itself an even playing field, geared towards the weaker players.

I do not mean to put myself on a higher level than those around me or to even sound condescending, for I too am the product of a generation that has no sense of past culture, no sense of achievement, and no sense of self. Many may say that these are positive things. Many would even say that it is an improvement much needed in a world so focused on “globalization”, as we are. However, they are wrong!

Allow me to provide a little illumination for my point of view. Recently I was in a department store where the sales person was incapable of doing a simple mathematical calculation. When I went to point out the mistake, the sales person announced that I was belittling her, something I have never heard a salesperson say to a customer. Math and communication skills are a salesman’s job, but we have given them the false ideal that no matter what their skills and work ethic, they deserve to be well paid. On top of this, we have also given them the false impression that they have no need to improve themselves, even for the betterment of their fellow man! This is not the only example of this new America.

Last week in class a girl was bold enough to suggest that the study of history was useless. The teacher calmly pointed out that without studying the mistakes of the past, how can we possibly expect to better ourselves in the future? The girl replied by rolling her eyes, pulling out her make-up case, and beginning a text message on her phone. This total lack of interest is a representation of our future ladies and gentleman! Heaven forbid one should try to actually learn or better their sense of thought. Instead, one should put up a block wall at the smallest indication of having to think or process an idea!

I conclude with the statement that we are a country afraid to let people be a success. Those that get ahead are automatically thieves and those that are poor are made potential martyrs. America this is a plea to you, allow people to fail, allow people to pick themselves up, and allow them to find their own path to success. Allow people to learn from their mistakes by allowing them to make mistakes. Allow people to think deeply and not just require the involuntary answer. America, let America know itself, even if that is all!