Monday, December 12, 2011

The American Taboo

I am not a lobbyist. I am not someone who goes around pushing my political beliefs upon others. I watch different news sources to some degree and I try to keep abreast on the major political topics. I am a person of reason. I love debating when the time calls for it, and love playing “the devil's advocate” on a number of topics for the simple fact of understanding what, and why, people believe the things they do. I do this socially and I will occasionally share some things that I find interesting, on social platforms, in hopes that others will read or watch what I share, and get them thinking.

It amazes me that so many Americans don't hold opinions about political issues, and in many cases, have any idea on what's going on. When questioned further to get to the “root” of what they believe, I have found that those “root beliefs” are there because that is what they were raised with. These beliefs, for the most part, are how their parents and grandparents believed. People, I have talked and listened to, were raised hearing these beliefs and have come to understand that these beliefs are the “right” ones to have.

Outside the political arena, in many social settings, it has become a taboo to talk about two things for many Americans: religion and politics. I believe this taboo is the downfall to our society, and our government. I believe this is why there is a new revolution called “Occupy Wallstreet”. People are finally coming around after years of not playing their part. I use the term “their part” strongly because everyone is at fault, including myself. We may vote, we may watch politics, but unless we break the taboo of talking about politics, helping others stay informed, holding those we elect in office accountable to the reasons we elected them, and making our concerns known to them, we continue to let them get away with the things the “Occupy Wallstreet” movement is so angry about. But who's fault is it?

I agree there are corrupt people in our government. There are corrupt people in our financial industry. There are corrupt people everywhere. We, the American people, have created our own taboo and hence, our own downfall. Most Americans don't vote, and yet they get mad when they lose their jobs and homes. By not understanding politics and current issues and then voting, you agree to allow the people who do vote, to speak for you.

The main reason talking about politics in social setting has become a taboo, is because people get upset. Why? I too get upset when talking about politics, because a majority of people opening their mouths in many of the conversations I have been a part of, have no idea what is happening in current issues and they say things that their parents and grandparents have said over the year. I find ignorance is the biggest issue in American politics, and many politicians feed on that. Many people don't take the time, or care, to understand what is going on. Most of the voters in this country vote depending on if there is an (R), (D) or (I) beside the candidates name. If it is a measure or a bill, they vote depending on if the “title” sounds good or not. Really? These are they people you want speaking for you if you don't vote? Following politics, understanding what each candidate stands for, voting and holding the elected officials accountable is what is needed in this country.

Many politicians were scared in the 2008 election because more people voted that year, than in many years prior. They started getting restless in their seats because they knew that things were changing. People were starting to get fed up with the way our country had been running. The current President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, was promising “Change you can believe in.” The American people were wanting change. It was obvious. Our economy was crashing. Hard. Jobs were being lost to overseas. We were in war. Our country was on the wrong path, and it was evident. So, of course, America wanted change. After decades of voting in politicians depending on their party and then just waiting for the next election, politicians grew comfortable. We allowed them to do as they pleased because we “trusted” that they were good people. We believed they were going to look after the people under the title of their appointed office. But that obviously didn't happen.

Corporate America, the financial industry, politicians and the American people are to blame. We the American people didn't speak our voice correctly, politicians took advantage of our trust, and corporate America and the financial industry took advantage of our politicians. So where do we start in our recovery of America? We obviously have gone too far down this path and our country is crumbling.

It starts with each American breaking the taboo of talking about politics and the things they are concerned about with our country. That's where is starts, but it's not enough. We have to hold those people that have gotten elected in office (the good ones and the bad) accountable, and let them know what we think. They are there to serve us, the American people, and we must tell them what we want. That's the fist step. The “Occupy Wallstreet” movement is starting that. That's what it's all about, but it takes more.

Step two is knowing, and coming to an understanding, what is happening in our country and the effects of it. An example is the budget. The politicians we elected into our offices in this country, refused to come up with a budget because each side “wanted” something in return. That in turn dropped our financial rating. Which is pretty much our credit score for the rest of the world. It's not about the politicians and what they have promised to the financial industry and to corporate America, just so they can stay in office. It is about the American people. It's about this country. The United States of America is a place so many around the world want to live in for a reason. Let's return it to a place we all want to live in.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Shell

I have this never ending feeling like there is something wrong with me. I am not sure if I am the only one who feels this way or not, but I know I do. It may be hard to explain, but I'll give it a try.

I feel like I am a decent guy. I am obviously not perfect and it would be ridiculous of me to expect that of myself. I do however, expect quite a bit of myself: A place to live, watering my plants, feeding and brushing my cat, keeping my place clean, making sure people feel comfortable in my home, being a great host, dong a good job at work, good hygiene, etc. To me, those are the basics in which I not only expect of myself, but of others as well. Maybe those expectations are too much to have for others. For me, it's not that difficult. I execute them pretty well. I do have O.C.D.

I try to be a good friend. I am available, when I can, for a friend to have someone to talk to. I give advice when it's asked and sometimes when it's not, but needed. I am loving to my friends, courteous to my acquaintances, and cordial to those I don't care much for. To those I have hurt, I keep myself away, as to not remind/hurt them anymore than I have. These are the basics for how I behave.

Emotionally, I am a bit reserved. It's difficult for me to talk about my emotions. I find it to be a bit awkward. Some people consider me “together” and others consider me a “prude”. I can see both in me, but I don't see either of those as general definitions of me. I am very emotional. I cry in almost every movie I watch. I cry listening to music. It's hard for me to express my emotions verbally, so a lot of the time I do through decorating, gardening, singing, cooking/baking etc. It's through action and deeds and gift giving that I express my love for friends and family and those that I love romantically.

When I am angry or upset, I don't know how to express those emotions, so I tend to get quiet, reserved and cold in features and gestures. I don't know how to express love, whether it be through touch or verbally. I wish I did. When I have tried to do that verbally, I feel the words to be without substance, even though they are the words I have been taught to use. With action, I feel I can better “show” someone I love them, or with a gift I can let them know they are on my mind.

I don't care much for aggressive or pushy people. I think that is because of my childhood. My father was pretty aggressive and intimidating. I always felt that every floor was made out of eggshells. When I left home, I made a promise to myself not to feel like that again and I simply avoid anyone who reminds me of that, or causes me to have that feeling.

I feel burdened around the weak in spirit. By that I mean those who always have something going wrong in there life, are always a victim, and always complaining about it. They rarely listen to any advise given, whether solicited or not, and then complain because they still have the same problems. Also in this category are those who are always bitching about the horrible people in their lives, especially when it's done in public format, like Facebook. I understand that some people feel loved by quality time, but it's frustrating because “happier” quality time has more... well, quality to it. It's less one sided emotionally if the topics are not so depressing, even if only one person is talking. I have the opinion, if someone or something in your life is causing you to feel unhappy or angry, and you can't overcome that, then remove it or them.

Granted, I see that I have some of these strong and week characteristics in my own personality. I am aware of them and I try my best to overcome them and not let them interfere in my relationships. I consider myself an open person. I try not to express any negative opinions and judgments of people. I can get along with almost everyone. I make friends with people and include them in my life. As much as I know how, I let people know I am a friend.

So, back to something being wrong with me. With me making these friendship and romantic gestures, why is it that all of my friendships tend to be one-sided? I have something like 300 people on my friends list on Facebook, and yet I rarely hear from any of them directly. I'll send text messages to many of them and will have a response back and forth for a few messages and then, that's it.

I guess what I am really complaining about is the quality of my friendships. I know some amazing people. No matter what their orientation or race or age, I know so many great people I care about. So I guess if I could have a question, it would be this: Why do I feel like I am a good person and a good friend, but then don't feel I have good friendships?

Could it be that I don't know how to express my emotions? Am I walking around and interacting with people as an emotionless shell? I mean, are people not feeling my emotions? Is that why I am so emotional, because I don't express them enough?