Opinion » Readers feedback

America's view of itself in the world community - 10 September, 2004

We must work to make change
I must agree that Mr. Berglin makes many good points about the ignorance, apathy, and arrogance of many in American society. I see it every day I live and it indeed does sicken me. I suppose getting the word out is important; if people are scolded for their behavior, then sometimes they realize they're in the wrong and correct themselves; or at least work toward the right. But it is not just Americans. It is humanity in general.  Every region of the world has had its politically unjustified wars; prejudices; hatreds; violences. America may be at the top of the power chain now. But at one point the Soviet Union was up there with them, commiting many of its own horrendous acts against innocent people. And the Germans and the Japanese. And before them the British Empire. It goes back to the early days of civilization, and mankind's existence.
 
    Personally, I believe that the problem is education; even in today's world, it lacks. I am certainly far from a genius and far from remarkable in any way; but education has helped me to lose most of my biases and my ignorances. As education improves and people take a better value and advantage of it; when they understand the situation of that starving child on TV and it's not just a remote image anymore; then, sir, a great and remarkable change will occur to all humanity. The trick is motivation. If people feel motivated; they will do something. America has great potential; but it is too busy in its self-centered commercial frame of mind to snap out of it. But we must work toward a better future. We must make this world a better place. We must improve education so that those who are ignorant have a better understanding. On September 11, 2001, I watched the towers on television in my classroom. A student sitting next to me said he didn't care who got killed or why, so long as it wasn't him. He didn't understand it. He wasn't mature enough then. But I have a friend in England whose classmates actually laughed as they saw innocent people jumping out of windows to their death to escape burning alive. Stalin had millions of his own people executed; so did Hitler; so did Hussein. There are many problems with human nature. But we must face them and work to improve ourselves as whole, not as nationalists or people swelled with hate. For hate only brings more hate.
 
    And stereotyping all Americans to have one unified opinion is about as fair as anyone stereotyping any country or region as holding one unified opinion. I haven't been given my chance yet, Mr. Berglin, to be an active and voting citizen in this society. But, I assure you, when it's my turn, my vote will be against the corrupt leadership we have today. Perhaps it will be the lesser of two evils, but rather the lesser than the former. What's one vote? What can one person do to make a difference? THE FUNDIMENTAL WORTH OF THE INDIVIDUAL, one of the very basic principles of the democracy, answers this question. If each person votes with their own individual, informed opinion in mind, then the democratic system is a success. But if people are uneducated, uninformed, absorb only the propaganda they see on television and in advertisements; or blindly vote for the candidate who's in their special ''party'' even if it's Adolf Hitler, well then the democratic process deserves what it gets I suppose. But we must work to educate, to inform, to get the real information out there. The candidates must stop fighting like little children and start campaigning on the basis of what their goals are as president.
 
    President Bush surely isn't the best we've got. He's got to be among the worst.  Even Republicans that I know admit that Bush is a terrible president. And believe me, there are many Americans that feel this way. More than you might think. Our opinion is not an unpopular one. There is great change ahead of us. There must be change. We, as human beings as a whole cannot continue like this, with so much apathy and hate, or human civilization will collapse. And there will be change. We will fix this mess of a world yet. I have faith in that. In the words of Dickens, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of reason, it was the age of foolishness..." Could it be said more clearly?
 
    Anyway, have faith in us. There are many of us who think that what is going on now is wrong. Many who are not ignorant. Many who are educated and will work hard  for a better world. And succeed. America doesn't hate you. America doesn't hate me. America is not of one opinion, though some of its people have unjustified and ignorant ones. Most who vote for Bush in November can't run with much justification. But many will not vote for Bush. Hopefully the majority. Even though Kerry doesn't appear all that much better. But better candidates will come with time. We must work to make that time come sooner. We must continue to force people to look at themselves and our opinions. To be mature, responsible in a real sense. And I am striving to be that. I want to work in that direction. God gave us this world, this little speck of green and blue dust in the middle of a vast universe. But it's our little speck of dust. Humanity's, and the other species of this planet. But we, humanity, must work to make it a better place. We must embrace our differences of opinions and religions and ideas and thoughts. Many of us do. More of us need to. Sadly, we are our own worst enemy. But we can be our own best friend as well. And the more we try to work in that direction, the more we will accomplish even if it's slow. 
 
    Well, I've put in my two cents of optimisim. Change will come, and it will be for the better. We will work for it. It will pay off. When I pledge alliegence to that flag, I say it with assurance that those soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan aren't fighting for the corrupt reasons that the government put them in there for. They're fighting to make the world safer and to bring to the people of Afghanistan and Iraq the opportunity to run their countries their own way; even if the Bush administration's doing a horrible, terrible job at getting to that. Our soldiers over there  aren't dying for oil; they're dying so that an Iraqi child can grow up and pronounce in public that they disagree with the government without fear of getting killed for it.
 
 
Sincerely
 
Jack

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