Neighborhood stroll...

Neighborhood stroll…

Over the weekend as I was walking to the post office to send my mother a letter (yes, we do that sometimes lol) I found myself staring up at the buildings around me-not only in slight disbelief that I am living this life, but also in slight disgust. There’s a substantial part of my being who despises paying rent, utilities and other money-pits that are offering me zero return or incentives. Reluctantly, sometimes I include college tuition/loans in this category as well. And that’s when I got to thinking…
Americans have got the game messed up.
When you look at other cultures in the world, African, Middle Eastern and Asian included, many require their young adults to continue living with them well into their adult years. They desire their youngest contributing members of the community to work, earn decent livings and save their money for many of life’s milestones that have yet to come. These will include marriage, children, and the eventual responsibility of the family’s elderly.
In addition they also encourage their children to work hard and find a vocation. By the time many of these kids are enrolled in somebody’s college, if they ultimately wind up attending college, they have a great idea of what they need to get out of it so that minimal time is wasted.
Here in America, the culture tells you to enjoy high school, then immediately enroll in some form of overpriced higher education that is supposed to eventually support the rest of your life-long endeavors, hopes and dreams. There’s a great chance that you will enroll in a program that you probably haven’t given the most thought to because who’s able to make those sort of life-long decisions when you’re just a kid yourself? Upon graduation your parents are kicking you out of the door, cutting off your insurance and wishing you good luck.
But what if American culture coddled their young adults a bit more? Allowed them to take a break after high school to really consider what working life is like? Would they not make better choices when it came time to picking a school, major and other activities? What if the young adults could hold off paying rent a little longer? Were encouraged to pay a light or cable bill, keep gas in their cars and be given enough time to adequately figure out the employment and relationship thing out? Because ultimately, in another 40 years or so it’s going to be these same parents relying on those kids to make sure they’re comfortable in their old age.
I guess I’ll continue to stew over this later this evening as I’m leaving a job/career I didn’t go to college for and consequently don’t see myself at long-term and to an apartment who’s rent is more than the average mortgage payment in my hometown.

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Pray for Peace In the Middle East and North Africa!

          Ever since the Egyptians took a stand, there’s been a snowball effect of neighboring nations actively protesting their autocratic and dictator-run governments.

Bouazizi, March 29, 1984 – January 4, 2011 R.I.P.

          I watched 60 Minutes this past Sunday night and saw how one, 26-yr old Tunisian man,  Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself on fire in front of Tunisia’s government buildings as a form of outspoken protest.  The authorities had threatened his livelihood, and severely disrespected him (spit in his face and disrespected his late father).  Bouazizi decided he wasn’t going to take it anymore.  From there, the revolution commenced and today, two months later (with much thanks to Facebook for publicizing/showing videos of the fighting), Tunisia has ousted majority of the old regime and is preparing for upcoming elections this fall.  Despite this great news, there is still much fighting, civil unrest and overall chaos.

It's been said that the Western nations (USA et al) are supporting these revolutions in the hopes that it will all lead to Iran's demise.

            In addition to Tunisia, in the last two weeks Libya, Yemen, Morocco and Bahrain have been embarking on their own national revolutions; they’re all fighting the man!  While this is an amazing thing that is happening, it is so unfortunate that so many are losing their lives in an effort to fight this cause.  America has been supportive of the people fighting for their freedom but we’re not over there helping them either. 

            My heart really goes out to those nations.  These people are losing their lives in the pursuit of freedom, equality, and food security.  This is all in violation of basic human rights that too many American’s take for granted.  When taking a critical look at what is going on over there, hearing American’s complain about basic things like, “liveable wages,” “wack health insurance” and “foreclosure” makes my stomach turn.  These people are fighting for life!  For the ability to speak what’s in their hearts and minds without fear of torture, imprisonment and death.  For the resources to obtain food when their dollars earned that day won’t cover it!  American’s speak what’s on their minds to a fault (Michelle Obama is NOT fat Rush Limbaugh)!  American’s are making SEVERAL dollars a day.  We also have SEVERAL food banks and a generous population that will donate food and/or money to a family in need.  And when an American loses their home to foreclosure, there is ALWAYS a plan B!  Don’t you dare tell me otherwise.

            I just encourage everyone during these trying times to work a little bit harder the next time you get the urge to complain over something basic and miniscule.  In 10 years, will the issues you’re stressing over today even be a mere thought?  Probably not.  Our global neighbors are fighting for their lives right now…their LIVES.  They have to complain now; opportunity has come knocking and they are 100% justified in taking full advantage.  They have the microphone on the world’s stage and we need to give them our undivided attention with zero interruptions. 

Pray for them.