House of Cards

As a child one of the things we would do is take a deck of cards and lean two cards against one another so that they could stand together. And one by one continue adding cards until a foundation had been built that, then, could have a second story built on top, and another on top of that. How trying it was, because one false move and the whole thing would come crashing down and we would have to start  all over.

It is devastatingly obvious that the state of the United States is poor to say the least. This once strong castle of a country is now like ahouse of cards that has crashed down around us. For being one of the richest countries in the world and a world leader, you would think that we could figure out a way to get our head out of the clouds, and start working on some real solutions to our current issues.

One such issue is that of unemployment. I know, it is easier to sit behind my computer and criticize, but I don’t see much of any body doing anything to help, but I do see a lot of people going to the government to fix the mess we created. It seems it is a catch 22 for everybody. The ones hiring, the ones who are currently working and the ones desperately seeking a job. But, I also see that for some, they continue to refuse jobs that are “beneath” them or do not pay what think they ought to be paid or figure they will get enough money from the government on unemployment that landing a job is unimportant. Don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of people who search long and hard and still come up with nothing, who want something, anything. Or employers won’t hire them because they have too much experience. Employers should think of it as a bargain! But it doesn’t stop there. What about all those company’s that either send work elsewhere or refuse to bargain their bottom line. I understand that a company needs to make a profit. I get that. I applaud that and it is the American way. But, maybe for just a little while, till Americans can get back on their feet, they could make a little less profit.

I do no think it should be government that should bear the burden of fixing what we broke. It should be our responsibility. Unfortunately, I see an America that is still selfish and self absorbed and without mercy to the widows and the orphans and now those who are in dire straights. Whose next meal and even bed is in question. How can we turn away our own people to stretch out our hand to others. We cannot even help ourselves, how can we help anyone else. And yet we do, somehow in this mess, the trueAmerican spirit that makes this country so great shows through. We find ways to help others, but we continue to ignore the instability in front of our eyes. It is a house of cards, that with one wrong move could bring the whole thing crashing down again.

This system, this entitlement, this expectation, it’s going to kill us. We will see the end of America as we knew it and in this time of turmoil a new nation will be born if we cannot look beyond ourselves and seek out ways to aide those who need it. Give help to our neighbor. But it is not just the working American that needs a slap in the face, it is also the unemployed. Not all, mind you, but enough that it is disturbingly familiar. I see those who have gone to the government for help, but they continue to spend money on luxuries. You don’t need your nails done. You don’t need to eat out. You don’t need your smart phone, a phone yes, but one that costs $50, $60, $100 every month – an unnecessary luxury. You don’t need new clothes or makeup or toys when you can barely pay your bills or feed yourself. We live in a soceity that has demanded that we have the latest and greatest. When you are in need, when you have nothing, we go to the government in expectation, with entitlement in our hearts. What ever happened to basic necessities? You don’t need cable TV, or satellite or for that matter, TV. You don’t need all this stuff. We want and we want and think we are entitled. We are not. We deserve to be treated with respect. We deserve to have our basic necessities take care of: roof over our head, food in our belly and clothes on our back. But the stuff that over crowds our lives, the thoughts that we need to have all the toys when we can’t even put gas in the car or food on the table – what a better life we would lead without.

The only hope we can have for a better America is to learn to go without, at least for a little while; we can survive without the stuff, without all the money and all the things. If we each gave up just a little bit, how many people could we help. I don’t know what the solution is. I don’t know how to fix this downward spiral the jobless and homeless and hungry seem to be in.  It starts with giving more. It starts with humility and letting go of our own pride. We cannot and should not expect the government to hold us up and carry us. That is not their duty. They were never created to be such and we have made them exactly that. This nation was created and molded on the backs of hard working people who wanted to forge a better life for themselves by their own hand. And secure the ability to do so. I think it starts with us and new ways of thinking. And, by doing so, perhaps we can turn this house of cards we are living in into a fortified castle once again!

Below is a link to the article in the New York Times that got me thinking:


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