A question I have pondered for several years now, realizing that America has always been the beacon of hope for the world, is: can we continue to expand our” caregiving” for the world?
I look at the plight of our American citizens, not the rich and powerful, not the celebrities, not the politicians, but the average everyday American who has worked all their lives to raise their children and tried to provide more for them and a better life than they had who are now struck by circumstances, voluntary or involuntary, who cannot find enough to eat, can’t afford medications in healthcare, can’t afford housing, and who are steadily becoming more downtrodden and depressed in this land of plenty called America.
We have children who go hungry, children who are abused and neglected, and yet we seem to put our emphasis more on the” children of the world” than the children of America. Drug use, depression, mental illness are all becoming more prevalent and in some places are reaching epidemic proportions. Children are now raised on violent video games and movies that depict, in much, much too gory detail, the murder and indifference to violence against others. I believe we have developed an indifference in many of our young people to the actual horror and suffering that violence and murder cause. And it does not limit this indifference to peers of the young people, but their fellow humans of any age, race, creed, or color. In simple terms, we are teaching some of our young people that the law of the jungle, survival of the fittest, is the answer to all life’s questions.
In addition, young people are coming from college with an education that qualifies them sometimes for jobs that no longer exist, or have limited opportunities, which leads them into a state of mind that, at a very young age, they have reached the limits of their potential.
Then we come to what may refer to as the” Golden Years”, which I can tell you from experience, are anything but Golden. We have hard-working older Americans who find themselves looked upon by society mostly as a drain on society. Their opinions and experiences are looked at as ancient history as opposed to being revered and listened to. The plight of these older people is truly so very sad. Eventually, their health declines, sometimes their mental faculties, and they find themselves being warehoused into nursing and assisted living facilities. Now, let me say right here, the people that work in the nursing homes and assisted living facilities are, in general, caring, hard-working, nurturing people.
But the older generation finds themselves in these facilities without friends, and unfortunately sometimes, without contact with relatives, and in the situation where all their old friends are in similar straits or have passed on. No matter how caring, or how nice, these facilities are, they are hardly the homes needs people grew up in, or the nurturing family and that they have become used to. Young people tend to either make fun of them or look at them as a drain on society because of their age. I find it very ironic that young people think this way, but continued to vote for people in their twilight years for political office.
Every day, when an older person dies who is not necessarily famous or wealthy, a tremendous library of knowledge and experience is lost forever. These people have seen hardship, wars, they have experienced losses of friends and family and still persevered through trying times young people can never imagine. They have endured things that people today can’t imagine, and have experienced things younger people only dream about.
In my estimation, we cannot expand the American dream to the rest of the world as “caregivers” ourselves, until we can take care of our own.