Location: Sydney, Australia

Single, Hispanic, I have two dogs, a mini schnauser cross named Dougal, and a cattle dog/chihuahua cross named Rinky-Dink

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

A Beautiful World

I spent the last week in the Hunter Valley on a first quarter planning meeting. There were nine of us attending this meeting and seven were American. Visiting with Americans always puts things into perspective. Conversations expose stark differences in opinion I didn’t realize I possessed when I lived in the states. It appears that sometimes it really takes someone from a different country to bring certain things to your attention.

For example, notice how many Americans don’t say please when they ask someone for something, and don’t say thank you every time someone does something for them. This happened numerous times during the conference. I felt embarrassed to be in the company of people that appeared so rude when in actuality they either just didn’t care or didn’t know any better.

Then there is the assumption that America is better in many ways compared to other countries. In ideals perhaps, but once you weigh up the realities objectively you really come to terms with this attitude. These are just a few leading indicators that countries use to measure their quality of life:

Americans better educated? Not really. High school students’ scores on standardized tests aren’t even in the top ten countries scored. Better healthcare? Well, considered how many middleclass people struggle to pay for rising healthcare costs I think it’s a very bad time to be getting old or have a serious illness in the states. Cost of living? Getting worse instead of better with rising oil prices, weak dollar, and mounting debt.

What about freedom? Considering the level of media censorship at the moment one has to really question if the situatution isn’t reverting back to times when what was portrayed through the media wasn’t actually what was taking place in real life; reality being more Pleasantville than Donna Reed, or Kids than Brady Bunch. The difference between now and the past is that there are alternate voices struggling to bring to attention the differences, only people are working hard to silence them. If I were an artist in America now I would feel threatened.Gay-Themed High School Play Sparks Va. Protests

Well, it seems a sad state of affairs but change is ever on the horizon, but as is the nature of change it happens slowly and not without a cataylist that may be tragic. On a lighter note, let's instead turn our attention to the proposed budget..just kidding.


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