In my fourth year abroad, I'm still feeling mighty disillusioned with our country, which appears to be less of a group of united citizens, than a land mass of separate individuals who care little beyond what is for their own personal gain.
I'm less than two months from unemployment most likely, joining the ranks of many of my fellow citizens (currently 8.8% unemployed, not counting those under-employed or in jobs beneath them). However, I'm in a place where it really doesn't matter, and I have the ability to drop back to student lifestyle at a moment's notice, or live out of my car if need be. No one is depending on me. This is not so for most Americans, whose unemployment strikes much deeper into their core way of life.
I could point and blame them for not planning for their futures, but that's not entirely fair. I had some step-ups early in life, which carried me along far and a really smart mom who taught us all about money management. Those in combination with no dependents leave me in a unique spot. Still nothing really prepares one for the shock of an email addressed to you and ten other professionals stating your job is finished in two months' time. And yet, they are going to be short of providers now in the health clinics here. All to save some money this period. They'll have to pay to ship us all back to the states and then pay to ship us back over or someone else. It's short-term thinking and not logical, but what's logical these days?
I'm disheartened at the recent budgetary issue. Not only because it impacts me, but it impacts so many people. And without passing a budget and leaving people without pay, will we be creating a worse economical situation. All the push-back against paying more taxes or becoming more socialised regarding health care from many Americans seems poorly thought out. It seems a lot of America's turmoil results from the fact that we have been living for ourselves in the moment, thinking of ourselves for too long. Most of my life I think this has been the primary goal of most Americans: How to get more for me. As I've paraphrased before, (I found this somewhere) when the goal is more, you will never have have enough. It wouldn't hurt to pay a little more taxes. It wouldn't hurt to have a few less wars. It wouldn't hurt to think of your neighbor and then actually do something to help out.
I know I'm not going to solve any problems. But some things really make me wonder what happened to my country, and what is the direction of the United States? What is it going to take for us to wake up out of our self-centered existences and start seeing the world for what it is: a wholly-interconnected universe where one cannot make a move without affecting another. When are we going to drop money as our god and start enjoying life for the sake of living? I'd guess it will take some sort of catastrophe for this to happen. I think very few people go out of their comfort zone without someone/thing else pushing them off the cliff. Then you learn to change and to fly. Because you will have to.