05 June 2008

Debbie Downer Strikes Again... or "Why is Everyone So Testy??"

I was reading online about Cheney's "joke" and reading all the reactions made me think about how, as a nation, we are so easily offended by just about anything! I don't know if it's the pending recession, the media exploiting the sensationalist quotient, our lifestyle of having much more than we really, truly need or a combination of all, but I've started noticing just how upset Americans get about almost anything! I think the energy we've expended on expressing our displeasure has become epidemic in proportions as well as become a national pastime. Which of course makes me wonder - how do we appear to the rest of the world? As a bunch of rich, snotty, spoiled children who have more than just about anyone else as a nation but yet are STILL discontent? How do we appear to our children, the next generation of Americans?

We gripe about other people's expressed opinions and how they shouldn't say things (although the freedom to say that is one of the tenants of our Constitution), we berate government officials with their ineptitude, we blast oil companies for "raping the coffers of society and decent, hardworking people all in the name of exorbitant profits" (although I know for sure some of the naysayers are shareholders of said companies and certainly are happy to deposit their dividend checks), we snipe about how people dress, or their weight, or how they keep or don't keep house. It's an endless litany of negativism. And I know I've done (more than?) my fair share of gritching and moaning.

But how much are we improving upon what we gripe about and how much are we aiding in the "fulfillment of self-prophecy"? In business, we are told to visualize what we want 10 years from now (where we'll be financially, emotionally, career-wise) and that keeping that picture in our head subconsciously keeps us working towards that goal. I believe that the polar opposite is true as well. When we live in a mental "downer" environment, NOTHING is going to work out! We are self-defeated before we even hit the front door, or in most cases, before our feet hit the floor getting out of bed.

So I'm thinking today about how much I, personally, am adding fertilizer to the "downer mentality" our nation seems to be raging with. Am I helping or hindering? Do my actions and words speak for promise and improvement or are they compost to the movement for discontent with anything and everything? How much energy am I expending in my "righteous indignation" for things totally out of my control to the detriment of doing things positively and having good, happy thoughts which will bring peace and contentment not only to myself but to others I am in direct contact with? It takes an enormous amount of energy to be mad, as anyone who's had a lover's quarrel will tell you. And even MORE energy NURSING that hurt and resentment. My personal opinion is that America needs to let go of all this negative energy, quit comparing ourselves to our neighbors and do what we can when we can but let the rest of it just GO!

Gas prices are high. They may well continue to be high or higher. Bottom line - either you pay it and drive or cut down on what you're doing. It is NOT a God-given right, in the Constitution, that Americans get really cheap gasoline even though we have been blessed with it for decades. People will say unkind things. But if we let them define WHO we are and HOW we act, their mean-spiritedness will have won out. If we constantly criticize our officials, bosses, the driver in front of us, our children will likewise learn, at the feet of their parents, how to be critical and discontent. I truly believe that as a nation we have elevated 'discontent' to the status of "virtue", thinking that we will appear to be "enlightened, educated and contemporary" in our national consciousness to the rest of the world that we have lost sight of the real prize - peace within, opportunity to improve ourselves, harmony with others, endless material blessings. Shame on us! Democracy gives us rights - but are we going to exercise this liberty to the detriment of ourselves, our families, our good mental health?

The Bible simply states that "a little leaven leaventh the whole lump". So ask yourself - am I "good" yeast or "bad" yeast?


Emily said...

Hear Hear! I agree! I see this attitude many times manifested in friends I have that would love to stay at home with their babies but send them off to daycare in the name of making money. They ask me how we can afford it. A) We don't buy a new car every two years B) We don't live in a house we can't afford. But I'm amazed that these same people won't give up their worldly possessions because then they might not "keep up with the Joneses." Bottom line: No one ever found contentment chasing worldly possessions/ideals.

kpapa said...

Tag, you are it. See my latest post.