Saturday, September 03, 2005

Land of Opportunity?

It's easy to have good credit when you have more money. You can pay your bills on time; no late fees. You're not charged the highest interest rate on loans, and whatever you got a loan on is never 'upside-down'. You're not charged $25 for insufficent funds, because you were a few cents off when you were buying the 'cheapy' bread, milk, ramen noodles, and tuna.

Choices, I hear. It's all about choices. "You have to make good choices, the right choices," as though the person telling you has a clue what right is.

Katrina has done something to America, and even the world: It's put up front, right in our fortunate faces, the difference between fortunate and unfortunate. It put right in our laps, what happens when we turn our eyes away from what we don't like to see, what we don't want to think about.

America is not the land of opportunity we like to think it is.

I'm not knocking our country. I am knocking whats happened to it, and where it's going. I hope Katrina is a wakeup call.

The promise of opportunity isn't as available for everyone as we like to think. It's available, if the conditions are right.

The problem is widespread, and not limited to one political party -in case you were thinking that's where I was going. It's not caused by the wealthy, drugs, greedy corporations; though that do have a part in it. The problem is so widespread, it encompasses all parts of our daily life. I do think a big part of it is; what do we choose not to see? What do we ignore, so we can go about our life the way we want, or are working toward?

What choices are we making that we don't want to consider the widespread effects, because we might not like what we find?

Was that shirt you bought made by laborers, paid with slave wages? The ink that colored it? Where did it come from? The fibers that weaved it- who was involved in that? The people that packaged it? The people that shipped it?

The coffee your drank this morning -who farmed it? Who picked the coffee beans? You really think it was Juan Valdez? The gas you put in your tank? Where did it come from? The stupid girl at the convenience store checkout who was too slow -why did she get that way? And work? Does your job contribute, or consume? Is that churning in the pit of your stomach really reflux? If you hate your job, why? Because of how you're treated? Maybe you make enough money, but how you make it just doesn't feel right, but your too far behind the wire to give it up. Look around you on the ride home -what choices did they make? Do they look happier than you? Worse off than you? And when you get home, does it really feel like home? Does all the interior decor really help that much? Painting the picture over, are we? And the TV! Don't get me started there.

Choices. Yep, it's all about choices. Not just theirs, but yours, and mine. Those little choices we make, everyday. I think the choice of ignoring the ramifications of our own choices -ignorance- is the problem.

We need to take another look at this Land of Opportunity, and make sure we are really providing it.

I could go on, but you've probably already stopped reading. If you haven't, finish it yourself.

If you dare.

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