Thursday, February 10, 2005

Freedom in America

Family usually mean well when they give their opinions and suggestions. You’ve got to wonder on what they base these opinions and suggestions. Could these suggestions be based on their belief in lies? This is what I arrived at yet again recently when mother, bless her heart, started complaining that I am too slow in pursuing the all American dream. Read: hurry up and finish school so you can make some money and buy nice things. Now nothing is wrong with earning a living or achieving the American dream. However, a whole lot seems wrong to me, when it means the death of hundreds or thousands of people deemed ‘unworthy’. Usually this is determined because they have a different skin color or call their god a different name or some other pretext to “kill, kill, kill”. Now lots would say this isn’t the case. No siree Bob not the case at all. We are a very generous nation look at how much we donated to the tsunami relief. We work hard and others are jealous of what we’ve attained

So this recent situation of mine, once again forced me examine the idea of freedom and what America represents. Now this may not be a big deal. It’s one of those things that keeps coming up especially at family gatherings and the like but you quite wonder why. Maybe in the back of our minds we all know something isn’t quite right, but we can’t fathom it. So we just say stuff like; that’s life, just put up and shut up and go along. More often than not, we self calm or rationalize. We find ways to believe whatever it is others want us to believe or just ignore it, rather than seeing what is. This is fine for getting along for a while until the self denial becomes dangerous to us and others. It appears to me that this where we are as a nation today. It appears to me that this is NOT freedom.

So mom reminded me for the umpteenth time of what I should believe and how I should conduct my life according to the American ideals of freedom and opportunity. They wanted me to go to college, get a great 9 to 5 and live the American dream because they believe the American dream is a good thing. Nothing wrong with that, right? According to my family, not making waves, and doing what you’re supposed to do and all that, increases the chance of fulfilling the dream. So not wanting to be the bad child, I endeavored to learn what represented this dream that everyone is chasing, in hopes that I could fulfill it and make the fam proud. Having a nice house, nice car and as much consumer goods you can buy with your credit card is basically what I learned. But they don’t tell you that. The belief in liberty and pursuit of happiness is what we’re told represents beauty of America. Not bad, in any case except for maybe the credit card part. Besides, who doesn't want to have nice things? As I learned more though, I came to realize the American dream is just that, a dream for most of us. I was having a hard time reconciling the dream with the ways in which others suffer so we can fulfill it. It’s not that I’m bitter here. It is a fact that more and more it’s becoming a nightmare or rather it has always been this way for many.

I haven’t bought into it and the fam, particularly mom, is getting more worried. Her daily reminders to hurry up and finish so you can make money is beyond overbearing. I can no longer self calm my way into listening to it. I couldn't quite get her to understand that she is worried about the wrong thing. See, I was remembering stuff like this and how it’s once again getting too close to home. No! it is here only worse. Maybe it's always been here in some form or another. I’m also worried about stuff like the economy because I have a feeling that by the time I finish, I will not be able to get the nice job or buy the nice things my mom envisions. I also worry about the climate. I am duly concerned that things will be so bad that by the time I ‘finish’ everyone would have realized that there never was a dream. They would see that it’s always been a nightmare for many, and now it’s so for all. It’s always been a nightmare for all, even for the global elite who will continue to try to profit from it as the world burns. It won’t matter then whether or not I finish because if everyone has no choice but to wake up to objective reality or fail to be, everything would have changed.

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