A bit of a rant, but please stick around to the end. It gets better. :)
The American culture is in a state of transition, and there is plenty of blame to go around for everything that is out of balance, from the economy to education to energy resources, etc.
Guess what? We're all to blame for what's not working. Every single one of us. If we didn't do it, we allowed stuff to happen. We all played a role here - we co-created the culture we now have.
And what do we have?
A broken economy. Debt from war we had no place in. We're raping the earth for finite resources that will not sustain us. We're sick from stress-related diseases. We have a broken education system where the teachers are blamed for its failure. We have endeared a culture where both parents now have to work in order to make ends meet, so keeping up with family life and having the energy and time to love and care for our children in the way we want and should is nearly impossible. Our children are falling through the cracks. Parents are overwhelmed, stressed, exhausted, and heartbroken. Teachers are as well. We created this culture.
We have no one to blame but ourselves. We've been asleep. We've given our power to individuals and groups who instead of serving the greater good have served themselves. We bought what they were selling - lock, stock, and barrel. We stopped holding those accountable in positions of power. We somehow believed we didn't have the power to make change happen...it wasn't worth the cost. We began to fear speaking out against things we knew weren't right.
Somehow, money became our god, and our lives began to revolve around it, creating fear of leaving a job where we were treated abysmally. Fear of taking time off because we or our kids were ill. Money has been held above us as a carrot to keep us motivated to work hard and long hours at jobs we don't like at the expense of our families and personal health.
I don't know about anyone else, but this is not my version of the American dream.
I would venture a guess that most of us want balance with our families, dependable jobs that we like and where we're treated with respect, an education system that is flexible and can meet the needs of all our children, the opportunity for religious and spiritual practices that do not harm others, and a government that serves all the people.
We need to unify. We need to come together, set our egos aside, and find a better way. We have gotten to a place where I don't think anyone is truly happy. The people at the "top" are in fear of losing all they have. The people at the "bottom" have nothing to lose. Those in the middle are stuck in the muck, trying to find balance for all.
The way we get out of this is by starting to live by making heart-centered choices, which stem from LOVE. I truly believe this is how we can save ourselves, because this is the only thing I've seen work over and over again. When we make decisions from the standpoint of Love, no one gets hurt. We all can have what we need, and then some. Heart-centered choices have us aligning with things we love, allowing compassion to guide our decisions so that everyone gets what we need. A simple answer for a complex problem.
But Love is not easy. It's way harder than fighting. Loving others means we have to set aside our egos and selfish desires. And that right there, is some hard work. But we humans are amazing creatures, and we Americans can do the hard work - we've always done it. We are better than we have been behaving. We can turn this around.
It starts with each one of us. You don't have the change the world, just start with yourself. We start by making loving choices in our lives...shifting our thoughts and words and actions. We need to work together and seek out what we have in common rather than focusing on our differences.
What do we have in common? We all love our children and want the best for them. We all want the means to feed, clothe, and shelter our families. We all want reliable energy sources that are sustainable. We all want freedom. We need to be free to express ourselves in every way and not feel oppressed by anyone else. If your choice results in hurting another or making someone feel separate, it's not from the heart and it's not Love.
I'm talking about an overhaul here...we need to shift. We can do this. I know it, I feel it.
We're pretty much at the bottom of the pit from my perspective. And that's a good thing, because it means we have to be creative to get ourselves out of it. The old ways stopped working, so now we have an opportunity to try new things. And if they fail? We get back up and try again. That's the American dream.