left Xtraordinary Living At Its Best: What are you looking for?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

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What are you looking for?

The following article was attributed to Jay Leno. While I am not sure that Jay Leno wrote this nor do I agree with EVERYTHING he wrote, I do think he makes some excellent points - especially the last paragraph. Would love to hear what you think?

"The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right?

The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the president. In essence two thirds of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change.

So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, ''What we are so unhappy about?''

Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter?

Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?
Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more
food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state? Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter?

I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings.

Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes , an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss. This all in he backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67 percent of you folks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. , yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have , and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks?

The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me? Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn't take a look around for yourself and see all the good things and be glad?

Think about it......are you upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the "Media" told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day.

Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go.

They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an ''other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after a few days in the brig.

So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells , and when criticized, try to defend their actions by "justifying" them in one way or another. Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book about how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way......Insane!

Stop buying the negativism you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad.

We are among the most blessed people on Earth and should thank God several times a day, or at least be thankful and appreciative."

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Lilly said...

I completely agree, Rick. In my opinion, too many folks are so isolated in their own little worlds. They've created a "world" of discontent around them and since it's too painful to recognize their own responsibility for it, choose to blame "the establishment." That illusive "they" that did it to them... This is where PL&L offers such an incredible opportunity: by showing us how we are responsible for our own Thoughts, Feelings, Actions and Results, we learn to change our personal worlds... and with travel, we're also able to see what people not so fortunate to live where we live have to deal with on a daily basis. That experience alone is so valuable. Keep up the good work! You are changing "the world!"

OMYWORD! said...

This article is somewhat simplistic in its conclusions. We can all take every situation we are in and select only the positives and deny the existence of the negatives, and vice versa. Or we can open our eyes and see both and take action to protect and build upon the positive and take action to change the negative. A thumbs-down vote on Bush's effectiveness is not necessarily the action of spoiled brats. It is also the action of people who see that changes need to occur. We are a great nation with great freedoms and at the same time, we are a nation that practices extraordinary rendition, denies habeas corpus and a fair trial and tortures people in our custody. In a big-picture view, these practices will not result in positive change. I am sure that PL&L folks see this at a micro level in their work with individuals and corporations. When you treat others with the respect they deserve merely by being human beings, no matter if they are your coworkers, bosses, employees, customers or even competitors or "enemies", everyone benefits and evolves through the process. So, as Americans we communicate about the negatives, share opinions and concerns, take issue, and then vote. This is how we change the world.

Rick Itzkowich said...


At PL&L we stress the following communication principle - work on me first, them second. By first working on the changes in us that we want see in the world, we will be in a better position to affect the external changes we would like to see.

Unfortunately, in my experience, too many people do the reverse. They look for the external changes first without looking at the changes they themselves need to make. This often results in people complaining and losing appreciation.

Thank you for your comment and for participating in the conversation.

Wendy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendy H. said...

I agree with omyword!. While I do not disagree with most of what this article says, it does in fact ignore the issues that omyword has mentioned, along with even more increasing losses of our freedoms in all aspects of our lives. Individually, many of the changes don't look like problems, and may even appear desirable, but in aggregate, we are increasingly quickly losing the fundamental rights and freedoms that this country stands for, that have made all of the good things this article cites possible. George W. Bush has no respect for our very Constitution, declaring it to be "just a goddamned piece of paper" - and in fact, is well on his way to completely eviscerating it, if the job hasn't already been completed.

It is critically important that we not lose sight of these issues and that we work to rectify the problems, yes, even as we appreciate all the great gifts we do have such as the ones listed here and work on our own selves - because when our freedom is gone, and we have no more rights or recourse if we find ourselves bundled off to jail for exercising freedoms like the right to free speech, none of the rest will really matter.

It is the increasing loss of our freedoms and rights that people are upset about when the polls say we don't like the direction the country is headed, not that the local grocery store might not be open as late any more. It is the fact that only a small percentage of people can afford to own their own homes, and that the cost of living has risen to the point that even with two good incomes, many people are still struggling just to make ends meet, it's becoming a luxury for many just to heat their homes, and many more issues that go way below the surface of the aspects of American life listed. The soldiers in Iraq may have volunteered to go there, but funding that war is still diverting money that could be much better used in more people's opinions to do things like provide universal health care to people here, secure
Social Security, and rectify many other domestic issues. Intelligent people know that the Homeland Security matters like the TSA screenings at airports are just "security theatre" and do nothing real to secure anything other than ignorant people's peace of mind.

There are many, many other issues of this nature that people are unhappy about, and which, in my opinion, are much more important to address than just repeating how grateful we ought to be for all of the material advantages we have here.

It's not an "either/or" proposition, in my opinion, or even a question of what comes first and what follows. We've *got* to work on the external world *as well as*, and at the same time as, we work on ourselves, in addition to appreciating all that truly is still good about living in America - or we may no longer have the freedom or the leisure to pursue that personal growth someday.