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Rated: E · Critique · Cultural · #945590
Written for my Advance Comp class. My view of the world at its worst.
You know what, I think our world is pretty pathetic. We are so involved in ourselves, and so uninterested in others problems. We go along our own way, regardless of the consequences, and shield our eyes to all the troubles around us. It is so easy to just not see the problems that plague our society. We hope that if we shut our eyes for long enough that the problems will just go away. If people could only open their eyes to what happens out of our comfort zone we could begin to fix the problems in our world.

One of the major problems in our society is still racism and discrimination. Even though the Civil War ended over a hundred years ago, racism still exist. Sure, there may be fewer lynchings but that doesn’t mean that it has ended. As I walk down the halls of our high school, I can’t help but notice the remarks made between some of the students. The halls are dotted with groups of white and groups of black, but very little intermingling of the two. This undeserved scorn is not held to a certain race. Students of all races feel this. There is even discrimination from people of the same race. It is hard for me to believe that after all this time things like this still exist. People turn away from these things, or blame it on their upbringing. “Its how I was raised, its not my fault I don’t like _________.” You can fill in the blank yourself. I think it tells something about our society when we still have discrimination going on. How much have we really progressed as a society, if we still can’t see eye to eye on these topics?

Another problem is how people let things fester, and sit inside of them, instead of forcing themselves to be heard. Its no wonder shootings at schools happen, and it’s a miracle that it doesn’t happen more often. We give the teens the motive (compounded anger), the means (galleries of guns), and the opportunity (a crowded school) to let these things happen. What is worse is that things remain the same. Sure, we may get some new security measure but after a while everyone forgets, everyone falls back into his or her own little safe spot in the world. Because face it, nothing like that could ever happen in your school. The students there are all happy and they talk about their problems, and no one is ever hurt. You could tell if someone was feeling bad and might do something to get even. Well guess what, if that’s the mentality you have then you are probably at the top of someone’s list. You probably couldn’t tell if someone was in pain if they came up and told you. No wait, you could tell, you just wouldn’t care. And you know what, if that’s true than you have every right to be on that list.

Let us not forget the children of America. Instead of giving them a book or taking them to a play, we let them sit in front of the TV and worship the images of blood, guts, and scum. We would rather let our children be exposed to a show that could warp their perception of reality, instead of taking the effort to better their lives ourselves. How can we justify this fleecing of American childhood? Nothing should be more precious than letting a child grow and learn about the world. But now we let the media influence what our children learn about the their surroundings. We let others control the most important and sacred years of a child’s life. I mean why go outside when you can turn on the tube and go anywhere with the click of a button. However, unlike a book the children are handfed all the information. When they read, they can come to their own conclusions and create their own characters, instead of being told who and what the characters should be.

Children are not the only ones who get caught up in the media. We have elevated movie stars and sports heroes to almost god-like status. We care more about Christina Aguilera’s new piercing than people in our own country who are starving to death in our own little third world neighborhoods. Whose idea was it to pay these people millions of dollars anyway? Do they really need it; is what they do even worthy of that kind of money. For a half hour TV show some actors make a million dollars. That is more than a teacher will ever see in his or her lifetime, and they are the ones trying to better the next generation. O.k. look, anywhere else in the country if you got married and divorced in fifty-five hours you would be looked on as trash, but in Hollywood it nets you a rush of CD sales (and not to mention a payraise). And, yes, some celebrities do donate large amounts of money. So what. The money could have been given directly to the foundation instead of fattening a Swiss bank account first. What do the athletes do with their money you ask? They do great things too. Well, that is after they subtract the cost of steroids, mansions, and the occasional mistress (actually some of them probably cheat on the mistress also). With these “heroes” to look up to is it any wonder why things go wrong?

Before you start saying that I am a hopeless idealist, let me say one thing. I love America and there is no other place that I would want to live. I just hate seeing people dying for nothing; but I don’t just mean just physically dying, I also mean dying emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. There are many things that need to be changed if our society is to function as it should. As a society we have to be open to others even if they are different. We must listen to other people’s ideas, and embrace their cultures. How can America be the greatest nation on the earth if all it is comprised of are many smaller separate nations? Yes, we share one government, but we don’t share one voice, or even one mind about what this country should be. The question now is how to find redemption among all of this chaos. Is it even possible? Do we have any hope left? Yes, there is hope left; there is always hope left, but it will not be easy to find, and it will be even harder to achieve. We must look past skin color, stereotypes, and even ourselves to see the common good, the common thread that binds us all together. Without that thread, without that unity to bind us all together, then I am afraid that we will never emerge from the darkness, even though the light is right above us, right within reach.

We have fallen into a hole as a society and we must rid ourselves of the mindset that it is better to stay there than to try to climb out. Yes, there will be work involved, and no it will not be easy, but when was anything easy in life to begin with. When did we become afraid to lift a finger for others, or even to lift a finger to save ourselves? When will we realize that it cannot just be the effort of one person, however valiant, that will rid the world of this black cloud? By banding together, and by accepting those around us, we can achieve that sense of hope, and begin the long climb out of that hole, one hand at a time.
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