Pissing Away A Gift

What is wrong with the Western World? Rhetorical question.

For crying out loud people, wake up!  Here we are, without question, the most privileged continent on the planet. Every single one of us has the opportunity to create something with our lives. We have to gift of living in a society where we can be anything we chose to be, we have only to open our front door and take that first step toward our goal.
Such a gift, we’ve been given! And is it appreciated?

Look around, read the paper, watch the news and you may come to the same conclusion as have I; no, it is not appreciated. Not only is it not appreciated? It is taken for granted, spat on, denigrated, perverted and shamed.

We are raising a generation of self-centered monsters with little to no concept of what life is truly about. They want and they want and they want. They do not feel that they need to give back, simply take but to be fair, it isn’t their fault. The fault lies with their parents and only their parents. They too, feel that life seems to owe them something. Society owes them something. It owes them a wage, it owes them food and shelter. They need put nothing into the life process; they need only to take what they wish and if they don’t get it? Well, the hue and the cry, the whines and the complaints are deafening.

I am ashamed of North America. I am ashamed of Europe. I am ashamed of a Western Civilization that can’t seem to get beyond their sociopathic views of life. A society where the most important issues of a day can well be whether to buy the X-Box or the WII, whether a Blackberry or an IPOD is the more desirable, from a status perspective.

A society where parents farm their children out to day cares so that they can afford the aforementioned gadgets, so that they may have two vehicles and vacations. So that they can shop at the mall and enjoy the best, yet not give a thought to how fortunate, how absolutely incredibly lucky they are to have these opportunities, to be fortunate enough to have a job, to live in a country where safe, affordable day care is even an option.

Make no mistake, it is an option. It isn’t a life given right, it is a privilege. A privilege afforded them by others.

A society that worships the rich, the indolent and the depraved. The likes of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan afforded media attention. The Oscars, where one dress could feed an entire family for a year. None of this would happen if we, the public, didn’t buy the tabloids, the trash mags or watch the shows that highlight these disgraceful exhibitions.

Our ancestors came here with nothing. There were no social programs. There was no welfare. They built this country, without relying on government or hand-outs to do it. How shameful what we have done to their legacy of courage, of tenacity, of invention and their will to survive.

Not so very far away, our opposites struggle to survive. They possess gratitude; gratitude for finding enough food to feed their children, at least one meal. They can’t afford to whine, to complain. These people, these human beings are too busily involved with trying to keep themselves and their families alive.

What is so hard to fathom? What is so hard to understand? Life is a gift and unless you live in a refugee camp in the Sudan, unless you wake up, unsure if you can feed your children, unsure if you will make it to sunset alive? Then you have no right to complain about your life. It is what you choose to make it.

Such a simple concept, such an easy philosophy by which to live; being thankful for what we have, what we did not earn but are fortunate enough to live in a place where we can reap the benefits. Yet this simple line of thought, these simple realities seem to be so beyond the capacity for the Western world to understand. We can’t save the world but at the very, very least, we should be grateful for what we are offered and we should shame those who choose to take life for granted, who abuse their privileges.

Your life is your responsibility. Piss it away don’t expect anything more than you put in.

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