Dealing with Social Issues and Ignoring the rest

Liam Hill - Reuse of this image is strictly prohibited. This is my son.We live in a time where people care more about social issues than the current health of our country. It’s like they don’t understand that the health of our country would render our social issues meaningless should we go so far down that as a country, we end up losing some of the freedoms we were born into. I was about to post a simple statement to Twitter and Facebook about how society has its priorities backwards when I thought perhaps I should go a bit more into detail.

Before I go into detail I want to make this statement: This post is not about my take on the following issues, though I may insert my opinion to make a point. My opinion on these issues is not important. What is important is how we the people are handling our differences. You are no different than I. In my eyes, we are both people with the same rights and opportunities (I think it says that somewhere in the Bible and also in the Constitution of the United States). Though some of our likes, dislikes and choices may be different, we are the same. We were born the same and will die the same. Do not take what I say out of context. If you do so, I will make a public display of you on this post. The reason we are in the mess we are in today is because people take so much out of context and run with it rather than dealing with the bigger issues that will affect this country for not just decades, but probably centuries. I am also going to refer to our differences as “trivial” because they are trivial in the bigger picture of things. My personal issues are small compared to the national debt as an example. I would gladly put aside my opinion on a lot of things for a season to provide more focus to situations that pose a threat to our society as a whole. I call this “being an adult.”

I have had conversations with many people on different subjects who are so passionate about their particular social issue that they fail to see the poor state our country is in. Their social issue is so important to them that they fail to acknowledge the true issues we face in America.

This is definitely an era of change. Though I have only lived for 34 years, I feel like culture has changed extremely fast in the last 10 years. Don’t get me wrong, I am fine with change. What I am not ok with is ignoring issues that could eventually lead to our downfall. I am going to share some thoughts that many of you may not agree with, but I want you to read what I have to say with an open mind and carefully consider whether or not you are being selfish when it comes to focusing too heavily on your social issue of choice. Also keep in mind that by me mentioning these issues, I am not diminishing them at all. I feel that we need to take everything seriously and carefully consider the long term implications of them. I just feel that we have not been acting on these issues in the right manner and it has led to us focusing on them rather than the issues that are ultimately plaguing our country.

  1. Racism – We are an advanced society, that as a whole, understands that racism is wrong. We the people can handle racism ourselves and do not need the Government to spend countless dollars helping us anymore. Let me use the recent Donald Sterling situation as an example. It came to light that Donald Sterling made some very racist remarks. Though it was in a private conversation, it was made public and there was outrage. Clippers fans, the NBA and the rest of the world acted and made an example out of him. There is no room for racism in this country. We didn’t need the Government to do anything in that situation, we the people, handled it on our own. There was a time when we did need Government to assist with the rights of minorities, but that time is over. We are an advanced society now, who for the most part, does not and should not treat anybody differently. If someone is treated differently due to ethnic background, it should be the people who step in and I believe we do just that these days. Our words are powerful. We can stand against racism on our own. When racism happens, we take to the streets, or social media as it’s called today, and voice our opinions. There will always be small minded people who will hate others, but we are strong enough to deal with that on our own these days. When it comes to choosing elected officials, it is important that we choose officials that are not race biased, but that should be a question answered and then we move on to bigger issues such as the financial state of our country.
  2. Same Sex Marriage – I am not here to take a stance on this subject. That is for a different conversation. What I do want to discuss is the fact that so many would choose an elected official based on their stance on same sex marriage. This is such a huge social issue that it consumes a large portion of what these politicians debate about when they should be debating about how we will fix our economy and national deficit. We can’t blame politicians for arguing about this because we are the people who make it more important to talk about than issues that affect everybody. I am not saying that we should not talk about this just because it does not affect 100% of us. I am simply stating that if we do not handle the bigger issues that the US faces, we will end up being slaves to another country. We live in a country where we have the freedom to do and be a lot of things. Many of these freedoms are not accepted at all in other countries, namely the countries we owe a lot of money to.Here is my opinion, which will most likely not be popular with some of you: Get over your social issues for the time being and stand up for your country. All I, and many others see, is selfishness. I recognize that it is easy for me to say this because I am married, but if my country was falling apart, I would be able to set aside just about any injustice so I could pay attention to the more important issues at hand. This does not mean that we should forget about this. It is good to know the stance someone has on this subject, especially the stance of a potentially elected official, but that is it. Do not discount a potential good choice as an elected official over their stance on marriage. If we continue to elect the wrong people, marriage won’t matter for any of us.
  3. Religion – We used to live in a country where we had complete freedom of religion. Even though it is a right practiced by the people of this land since the early 1600′s, our generation is doing everything we can to tear it down. This is something that has been a right of the people for centuries, yet our generation has the audacity to decide that it should be stifled. I don’t care what the topic is, it is not one single generations job to change something that has that long of a history. We focus too much of our attention trying to remove things like prayer and words written on monuments, that has no negative effect on anyone. It is the selfishness of people who are not happy with themselves who feel the need to focus extreme amounts of energy on tearing down rights and monuments of others while our country loses more money than we can even fathom each waking day.
  4. Health Care – I do believe that in an advanced society, we should focus on being healthy and that means having something in place to help the citizens of the United States be healthy. However, putting the Government in charge is not going to do that. Each of us who earns an income in the United States now has to pay for the health related issues of everybody. There are certain things that I think should be covered as part of being a US Citizen. However, I do not think that I should have to pay for the health care of someone who goes into liver failure because they decided to drink so much alcohol over a long period of time that their body could not handle it anymore. I recognize that this is not the case with each situation as some of these people will be paying a premium just like the rest of us, but many of them will not be.
  5. Public School System – The Government has turned our public school system into an assembly line. Students are taught to correctly answer tests rather than be expressive and artistic. Programs that schools used to offer such as art, music, woodshop and other electives have no funding. What we are funding though is programs that assure each student is being tested on a regular basis. No child should be left behind so we stifle creativity and the natural process for which children learn so we can make sure not one of them falls behind. The only way Government can control that, is with testing. We are failing our children by letting Government get carried away with their programs. The public schools that are succeeding these days are the schools that stretch the limits by attempting to offer the same experience that were available in the past. With our the arts, there is no way to stretch our minds. Even a scientist is made a better scientist by having experiences the arts. We are not giving our children any other option to excel at besides reading, writing, math or science.Now let me take a step back and suggest that we should not rely on the Government to provide these things anyway. As parents, we should be exposing our kids to things that will help grow and expand their minds. The problem is that parents believe it is the Government’s job to raise their kids during school hours. We let the Government feed our children 2 out of 3 meals each day while at school and teachers are often the only authority a child has over them during most of their waking hours. It is the job of our schools to equip our children with an education so they can get a job and make a living. It is the job of the parents of these children to do the rest including help them make these decisions that will affect the rest of their lives. Not all children come from families who can provide this, but by allowing the Government to provide things that should be provided at home, we raise children who rely on the Government for things that they should be providing for themselves. We the people, could and should provide these services, not the Government. The Government gives handouts, it does not help people better themselves. It enables people to stay down and reliant on them. People, especially children, learn nothing by being given something for nothing. Our school system needs to go back to providing education and safety while being education, nothing more. We can let organizations ran by the people provide the rest. There are plenty of programs out there for those who need assistance with their children. These days we make it too easy to let the Government provide for us. There is a time and a place for Government help but it should not be allowed to become a lifelong pursuit.
  6. Name any other issue here – We the people can handle things on our own for the most part. There is a time for Government intervention but very few of our current social issues actually call for that. Deciding to choose a Government official over another because of their take on a trivial social issue is simply not responsible.

I find it funny that we continue to call out our Baby Boomer parents as the source of the problem. We blame so much on them, but now it is our turn to make decisions and raise children. I don’t feel like we are doing any better, even with the example of our parents having been something we could have learned from. Yes it may seem like our parents had priorities that were not inline with what we as their children had hoped they would be, but we have an opportunity to be a generation that does not put our personal issues over the needs of those who will come after us. The problem is that we are not being that generation. We are the most needy and selfish generation the United States has ever seen. If we do not get our way, we throw tantrums and complain, like the children that we are. We take action on issues that affect us now and ignore those that will have a lasting negative effect for generations because we were not correctly taught how to consider the long term effects of our decisions. My generation complains about their parents but I can only imagine the negativity that will come from our kids who for the most part were raised by other people because we were too busy fighting other fights that only seem to affect us in the here and now.

I recognize that topics like racism, same sex marriage and religion are all things that need to be fought for. We are a country who has always stood up for it’s beliefs on topics and didn’t relent until change took place. The difference this time is that our country is so in debt to other countries who do not share the same beliefs as us. Imaging where our freedoms would go should a major shift happen? We will be blaming each other for focusing too much on trivial things that could have waited. A responsible person would not go get another credit card to keep spending when all of their other credit cards are maxed out. That is what our Government is doing right now to create more programs that make it more necessary for the people to rely on them. Much of our current Government wants us in their pocket. They all have agendas, regardless of the party.

The last point I want to make is this: Ever since the inception of this country, we have fought for rights. I am not saying that we need to lay down on what we find important so we can get back on financial track. I am saying that our country is bleeding out and we are focusing on the wrong wounds. The fact that racism is still a thing and that people don’t seem to have equal rights is a big deal. We should continue to fight for injustice and stand up for those who are being treated wrong. What we shouldn’t do is ignore bigger threats to our country that will affect not only our future but the future of our children and their children. We are on a path that is setting our countries future up to fail. We are doing that by allowing Government to control too much. We are smart enough and strong enough to correct our own social injustices. We live in a time where we need to look at the bigger picture and figure out how to fix it before our Government and lack of concern for these issues run us into the ground. I think we fail to see how large the problem is. We think we are above reproach, but that time is running out.

I openly accept your opinions in the comments below. Keep in mind that this is not a debate of the above listed social issues. I mentioned topics so there would be context to this discussion. Your opinion may be different than mine, and I am ok with that. We are individuals who are allowed to have our own opinions. I think that we can all agree on the fact that if we continue on the road our country is on, our opinions of such issues won’t matter. Maybe we have to hit rock bottom before we can all agree. I really thought 9/11 was a wake up call, but we quickly forget how to agree on something and go back to fighting each other over trivial matters.

Because I know that many of you will miss it, once again I am going to say that you are I are the same and deserve the same rights. We also deserve the right to fight for those rights so long as they are moral rights to have (the people should also control what constitutes morality, not the Government). I do not and will not judge you on your differences of opinion. I don’t have one single friend who even agrees with me on 50% of what I hold as values, and I am ok with that. The moment that I decide to surround myself with people who only share my opinions is the moment where I cease to grow as a person.

  • http://roymckenzie.me/ Roy McKenzie

    I think you are a talented designer and entrepreneur and I respect you for your professional skills, but I have to say I think this post is less about identifying the focus of social issues as a problem in politics and more about attacking social issues and the government’s role in society.

    Hope all is well with you and your family.

    Also, point 6 is unfinished.