It occurs to me that a lot of what’s wrong with our current culture is that everyone that is alive today was told at some point in their lives, “You can be anything you want to be. All you have to do is try.” Not only is this simply not true, but I believe it’s damaging to the individual and to society.
Not just anybody can be President, for example (though it currently seems that way). You have to have a lot of money . . . I mean A LOT of money. And it’s really hard to get that much money. No amount of hard work alone will get you there. What’s required is a ton of hard work and even more luck. And that luck simply doesn’t come to just everyone. Sorry.
Same goes for fame. I wanted to be a rock star. I worked really, really hard for it, in fact. I have the talent. I have the skills and the determination. What I didn’t have was the right audience member at just the right time. And what I no longer have is youth. So again, no matter how hard I worked or how deserving I might have been, I was never going to be a rock star. It sucks, yeah, but that’s life.
Even worse, though, than telling a really bright or talented person they can be anything they want to be is saying the same to an average person; someone whom you know simply doesn’t have and will never have the skills necessary for success in their desired field. I mean look at the early auditions on American Idol every year. Those are people who CANNOT SING. They’ve never been able to sing; they’ll never be able to sing. But someone (or a lot of someones) told them they could. Either to be nice (or possibly even to be mean) or out of a misplaced desire to encourage, someone gave these people false hope. And they ended up humiliated on national television.
Now how is this damaging to society? It has created an “everyone is equally perfect” mentality. There is a malignant narcissism deteriorating this country that stems from a sense of entitlement to fame and fortune and “everything I want” (Twitter , anyone?). After all, anything less would be “unfair” (and don’t get me started on the concept of “fair” . . . short version; “fair” doesn’t exist). We’ve gotten so focused on how “equal” everyone is supposedly meant to be that we’ve forgotten how different everyone actually is. By definition, very few people in this world are special. Common sense, really. If everyone were special, no one would be.
So if you’re a parent to an average child, don’t tell them they’re special just because you love them so much. Tell them they’re loved, yes; encourage them when they show aptitude for something, yes. But don’t tell a chronic C student they can be a doctor or a lawyer or President if they just try harder. Odds are they can’t. And don’t tell your tone deaf child they can be a rock star just because they really want it.
Now of course, don’t actively discourage them from trying. That lucky break may actually come along. But do encourage them when they try something else they’re obviously better at. And do educate them on how the world really works. If you’re not born wealthy, you’re not likely to become wealthy without a lot of luck. And if you’re not wealthy, all those other big dreams aren’t likely to materialize.
Oh, and one more thing. All of this is okay. You don’t need any of those things in order to be happy. All you need to be happy is to simply decide to be happy. Stop worrying about what you don’t have or what you haven’t accomplished, and start enjoying what you have.
So, an offshore oil rig blew up, spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico. This is most definitely a very bad thing and should be reported as such. But you need to ask yourself, “Why does the media feel the need to overhype the situation?”
Now, I know what some of you are thinking: “Overhype??!? How are they overhyping it?” You’ll find the answer in one simple word that is now being used universally by all media outlets . . . and in a context that is quite unprecedented. That word is “gallons.” As most of you probably know without even realizing it, quantity of oil is always . . . ALWAYS expressed in a unit of measure called “Barrels.” It’s been that way for quite awhile. Think about the price of crude. It’s always expressed as $X per barrel. How big is a barrel? Forty-two gallons. That’s right, 42! In other words, the media . . . the same media that has always accepted the industry standard of “barrels” as the unit of measure for oil, and used it as such . . . is for the first time using the word “gallons” to express how much oil is being spewed into the gulf. Why? So that they can report numbers that are FORTY-TWO TIMES HIGHER than the numbers that would normally be reported when talking about oil, knowing that the average viewer isn’t really going to notice the difference.
Why would they do this? Three simple words: Three Mile Island. The left in this country is desperate to eliminate the use of fossil fuels and the general prosperity that goes along with such use. With the BP Oil Spill™, they’ve found oil’s Three Mile Island: an emergency that can curtail the use of a Designated Pollutant™.
The Watermelon Left (green on the outside, red on the inside) jumped on the Three Mile Island incident as an excuse to attack the nuclear energy industry in this country and abroad, ensuring that no new nuclear plants would be built in this country for over 30 years. With this new spill, Obama recently announced a moratorium on off-shore drilling, with the blessing of a panel of experts who, as it turns out, were not given the full facts. Why would he do this unless his goal was to cripple the oil industry in this country?
Just perusing the net and stumbled across this gem:
A couple of weeks ago, I included in a post the statement that Barack Obama is anti-American. A dear and respected friend suggested that I was exaggerating. Obama may have a different vision of or goal for America, he said, but that’s scarcely the same as being anti-American. I’ve been thinking that over for a while and, after a lot of mental give and take about what it means to be “anti-” anything, have now decided that Barack Obama is indeed anti-American.
Everything has a fundamental essence, a quality that makes it uniquely itself. Take an orange, for example. It’s not only citrus fruit, it’s an orange colored citrus fruit. Horticulturists can alter its size, its texture, it’s sweetness, and the purity of its orange color, but it still remains an orange because that color is its definition. Change the color, however, and suddenly, you have the un-orange, the anti-orange. You have something completely different that no longer contains within it the essence of the original fruit. Lose the essence and you lose the orange.
America has an essence too, and that essence is liberty. America since its inception has been defined by liberty, both the liberty of the individual and the liberty of the nation. Individual liberty means that Americans should be subject to minimal government constraints. The state exists to serve the individual (commerce, transportation, security), not to control the individual. That’s why the Bill of Rights focuses so closely on individual freedoms: the freedom to speak, the freedom to write, the freedom to worship, the freedom to defend oneself with arms, the freedom from searches and seizures, etc. Liberty also extends to the nation. Both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are replete with examples of the Founders’ absolute obsession with national sovereignty. Just recently, we’ve been reminded of the fact that the Founders didn’t even want the appearance of impropriety and the risk of influence, since they specifically prohibited foreign emoluments for our presidents.
Barack Obama is anti-American because he wants to change this American essence. His domestic policy is directed at increasing government control in every area, which decreases individual liberty. Here’s an incomplete bullet-point list of his anti-liberty goals on the home front:
Read the whole thing; it’s worth it.
So I got the following drive-by (read: cowardly) comment the other day from a reader calling him/herself Tiger By The Tail:
1. An excuse for war used primarily by mouth breathing conservatards.
And it occurs to me that it clearly demonstrates pretty much everything that is wrong in the Liberal mind. Stay with me here:
- I am very clever
- I am always right
- I am a Good Person™
- All wars are bad
- None have ever had any positive consequences
- Conservatives are always wrong
- Because they are Bad People
- They deserve to have insults thrown at them
- I do not deserve and will not stand for such things
- Conservatives absolutely LOVE war and are looking for any excuse to start one
- Because they are Bad People
Sounds about right, doesn’t it?