“You see, as Americans we're not defined by class, and we will never be told our place. What makes our nation exceptional is that anyone, from any background, can climb the highest of heights.”
From the beginning of our great democracy, individuals have had the power to have their voices heard, to determine quality and standards in our society but something is terribly amiss in our country that is shredding the fabric that unites us. Today, among the many disagreements, I believe the opportunity for our nation to overcome these differences, achieving a greater good for our society, is undermined by the overreaching need of inclusion and diversity for transformational ideas. Is too much inclusion and diversity spoiling America’s exceptionalism?
Ayn Rand writes in “Textbook of Americanism”, “Do not make the mistake of the ignorant who think that an individualist is a man who says: “I’ll do as I please at everybody else’s expense.” An individualist is a man who recognizes the inalienable individual rights of man—his own and those of others.” Individualism today is being diluted in the ocean of politically correctness that favors moderation instead of boldness. The strength of what has made our nation unique is the boldness of individual self-worth and the recognition of this need for self-reliance which made this quality the cornerstone that established our nation.
Today, the shifting of the country to collectivism has blinded American for we do not see or we are apathetic to the oppression happening before our eyes.
We should acknowledge this shift in American values because this view was confirmed by President Obama’s in his inaugural address, he stated
“. . . that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedom ultimately requires collective action.” Collective action.
These words are the underpinning of transformational change for collectivism. The ability to generate bold individual ideas is now hampered in today’s society of groupthink problem solving because individuals, who could add constructive content to the discussion, stay quiet for fear of retribution by collectivists, including the President himself. I believe it is this paradigm that is eroding American exceptionalism into the quagmire of mediocrity in everyday life.
We must define and build a society that understands that higher morals increases the value of human capital of our communities. Currently, mediocrity in America seems to be an average standard that is sufficient even for our children. Caring parents should teach love and respect but many pawn off this responsibility to others, such as teachers. Schools should be a tool for parents to reinforce learning, not a place to drop kids off like the babysitter.
I argue that my observation of today’s youth is unbiased because I don’t have children of my own; therefore, my opinion is based by contrasting expectations of my own childhood with expectations of children today.
When did the idea of participation awards come into vogue? You know the same trophy whether good or bad, the kind of amorphous award every kid gets, first or last.
I get the idea of praising children is used to build confidence but kids are keenly aware too, that this praise is nothing special; therefore, undeserving praise is self-defeating and detrimental to self-esteem.
Another observation, teaching children in our transitioning collective society was praised by First Lady, Hillary Clinton, even writing the book, “It Takes a Village”. Raising children to become responsible citizens and contributing to society, requires parenting, not a village. Parenting is the toughest job in the best conditions, but society’s move away from Christian teachings is weakening the nurturing environment.
Christian principles and traditional values like marriage before sex are systematically being eliminated from the conversation because of collectivism. The need for everyone to have input in this problem solving process jeopardizes the best solution. Traditional marriage has taken a backseat in America because anything and everything goes in the game of tolerance today.
Single parent homes are the norm, not the exception, in our changing society; consequently, single parents are increasingly dependent upon “the village” to raise their children. The collective village is not a place for young children because drug dealers, child pornographers, and many other scourges of society lurk in the shadows.
In fact, negative influences are accepted by our culture by glorifying destructive behavior. If you don’t understand what I am talking about, just watch prime time television or listen to popular music on the radio. Until we, as a society, make a decision to demand morals and decency, children will not develop the social skills to protect themselves. This brings me to another intriguing problem facing kids today.
Bullying has been around since the beginning of man but now this issue has been brought to the forefront as a major concern for our country. Why? Is it because adults want to be friends with their children rather than teach respect? Are parents shirking their duties and hoping for the best?
Are Facebook and Twitter replacing a parent’s listening skills? Probably, but the pendulum swinging further in favor of groupthink solutions mitigates individual parents responsibilities.
So, how can we create better solutions to our problems?
I am very proud of our country and our people; although, we have lost our compass, as Ronald Reagan once said, “America is a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere.”
Let us make a choice; henceforth, to solve our differences using a common theme of united we stand, divided we fall.
In conclusion, lets remember the words of JFK when he said,
“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”