i'm not sure what happened or when. i'm not sure what the defining moment was when i realized that the world, america in particular had changed around me. everything i thought i knew and believed seemed to be out of sync with everything i was reading, seeing, hearing and witnessing. the country that i grew up in, taught to believe in, and the things that were ingrained in me as being right and wrong and morally correct had somehow changed or become a diluted version of what i was familiar with.
i now live in strange country. it's a country that touts freedom and individual rights to anyone outside this country that will listen. it speaks loudly of the protection of human rights, individual freedoms and the well being of each and every citizen of a country. it does this all the while eroding those very same individual freedoms thru the mandates of our own government. it's a country that protects one religion while taking the rights of another. it's a country that has forgotten that freedom of religion means the freedom to practice your own religion, not trample on the rights of one for the sake of another. it has forgotten that freedom of religion means the basic right to choose your own faith, to speak of that faith openly and to freely live that faith. it doesn't mean to covertly use these rights to erode another religion or belief.
i live in a country that has somehow accepted as the norm people to living in poverty, struggling daily for shelter and food and the basics of life. i live in a country whose citizens have forgotten their neighbors, their coworkers, their relatives and people who live within walking distance of their own home and church. we ignore the plight of others to the point of abandonment. we look at those who are homeless, who are struggling financially, who are fighting illness and addictions without seeing them. if we do indeed see them, it is even a sadder indictment of our own moral condition.
i live in a country that has come to accept a political system that is broken. it has become a sideshow to be viewed on cable news, to tweet about, to make facebook pages about, to speak loudly in op-eds about and to ignore on election day. our elected officials have lost all sense of responsibility to the citizens of the united states and have become nothing more than a mouthpiece for partisan politics and platforms for a long lost ideal of their respective political affiliation. no more are politicians pondering on what's best for their constituents and the country in general. they now ponder how to best attack their political opponents, how to best obtain an appearance on the news or how best to funnel money into a project that will gain them political or corporate capital from political action committees.
i live in a country that will allow women and children to be homeless. i live in a country that accepts child hunger. i live in a country that accepts men and women dying daily in the street because they have no shelter. i live in a country that sees mentally ill individuals walk the streets with no treatment, no guidance and no protection. i live in a country who spends billions of dollars on government programs with no quantitative results then places the blame on recipients of those programs for the inherent failure of the system that administers the program.
i live in a world of loud voices...with not much to say. i live in a world of men and women speaking constantly and firmly about the disgrace of being poor and struggling to feed yourself and your family without offering any viable option or opportunity to rise from that condition. i live in a world of people who begrudge helping the poor and the homeless and the disabled. i live in a world where people argue the fate of the poor, the homeless and the hungry and make sharp and loud arguments and judgments against enacting some very basic steps to alleviate those conditions.
i live in america. not the america i once knew. but an america that in a very short time has forgotten what made this country great...not the america i once knew....but an america that has lost the personality, the compassion, the strength that other countries admired, feared, respected and longed to emulate. i live in an america that has forgotten god, freedom, protection of its citizens and moral obligation to every one its citizens....every one.
america....you've changed. it's not too late. you can change again. you have forgotten alot. but often memory is selective. select another path.
see you around town