I woke up this morning thinking about the three main perspectives plaguing American success.
3) INSTANT GRATIFICATION.
The first is the hardest one to crack but when America is optimistic, what the whole country was built on, we flourish. Presidents lived on the life blood of optimism. Reagan being a great example as well as Obama. Or at least, 2008 Obama. The GOP has destroyed the Obama Optimism by being a party that screams to televisions around America "NO!" when they disagree and then draw dead silent when they do agree. The Wall Street Reform Bill, was mainly agreed upon both parties and so was passed without much coverage, without much "drama." Is that part of our current election narrative? Nope.
But health care... screams from the Right! Every misplaced word, every misplaced line poured across our national eyes. The stimulus bill - murder in the capital!
This constant disagreement, constant bickering leads to cynicism. Nothing will get done.
There is longing for the 50s. The days of poodle dresses and malt shoppes. Of "Leave it to the Beaver" family politics. It was also an age before our failed war in Vietnam and the assassination of our nation's leaders. The world still worked and though there were disagreements on public policy, the enemy was clear: The USSR. The discorse was civil. We still dressed up for work.
We live in an era now where anything is possible. Terrorists could be our neighbors. I remember thinking myself that Obama could get shot. There were articles about it. Iraq and Afghanistan may go in history as two more failed wars, hopefully not to the extent of Vietnam but can anyone actually state the true purpose of those wars - and did we clearly meet those objectives?
Do we now feel safer? I feel safer because I feel we're more aware of the threat, but not because of the wars. In fact, I think we escalated the violence. I believe that Al Queda / Fundamentalists are even more resolute in destroying America and the problem with Al Queda is that it's an ideal system. America can't destroy ideas with guns. This is not the USSR.
These thoughts of uselessness lead to cynicism. To believing that it can never be fixed. The system will always be broken and politicians will always be crooked.
Couple this with entitlement and we're in a no win situation. The Great Depression lasted 10 years. TEN YEARS. A decade. A decade ago there was no 9/11 and yet people believe that Obama can't fix our problems. He can't?
But what about this:
All the red is George W. Bush's last year as president. All the blue is Obama's first year. You can see that employment is going up... yes, it's not great, it's not less than 5% but it's not over 10% either and that's only because it's been two years. Two. Not ten.
This was the GREATEST economic disaster since the Great Depression... a decade long disaster. It's been two years.
The internet is to blame here. We can get whatever we want, whenever we want it. I want pictures of bananas and within 30 seconds, I can choose from 710,000. Here's the first one:
209,000 photos of banana cakes.
Which leads me to my final thoughts... instant gratification. I took less than 20 seconds to pull that up. I get frustrated when I have to wait on my computer to boot up... a 30 second process and my brain believes I deserve it.
The 1950s wasn't perfect but we didn't have the technologies that have made us so reliant on making things easier. I can deposit my checks now by taking a photo with my phone. I don't even have to get out of my chair. We used to have a one on one rapport with our banker. Think I can name one guy at my bank? Nope. I don't think I've walked into a bank in almost two years.
I can buy music on my phone. I can tell you the actor in any movie within a minute. I can get the showtime to any movie in any city with two. Information has become so over populated and easy to grab that it no longer means anything.
This instant gratification has made us lazy. We take words as facts and facts as false. And because we're also cynical it's easier to just believe what your heart tells you, because the facts will back up whatever you want.
I found these within 10-20 seconds of thinking of them... it's frightening.
So, the solution? We have to relearn the joy of optimism:
Relearn our gratefulness: