In case you’re an avid avoider of media, like myself, I will fill you in on some things that have been happening in the world as of late. And by the world, I mean it in the most American-ego-centric fashion and am only including things happening in our country.
Remember the way Roe v. Wade was the hot topic in 1973? Now, the word on street is what is taking place in our school systems as we allow lawmakers and policy holders to dictate how our children learn. There are a few things happening, which I found out the other day during an orientation for substitute teacher’s at the local school district. Substituting is a great way to dabble in the school system and find out what the generation of the future is learning and dealing with on a regular basis. Of course, it’s not the same story across the chalkboard, but those mandating changes sure would like to see it that way. Knowledge is no longer able to be placed in a mold and delivered to each child in the same, methodical way that it once was. Memorization, once a revered sacrament, and is instead being replaced with teaching kids to access information that interests them. New systems of education are being experimented with, such as self-directed learning formats, application, searching, discovery, inquiry, and a more subjective approach is being established. While such positive changes are taking place at this pivotal moment, and it’s likely a nationwide breakthrough is going to occur, my NC government, and maybe coming soon to a government near you, is busy taking away school and teacher funding, making budget cuts, and reducing teachers motivation to acquire further education. At such a crucial moment in our history, a time when altering the future is happening by waking up these little pupils and making them aware NOW, they’re attempting to put the kibosh on the passion that is infused in the learning process. Don’t even get me STARTED with the cafeteria situation and some of the ACTUAL things they teach kids. Let’s get with the times, NC. Whatever happened to school being the breeding grounds for inspiration and life?
This is no joke, the highway indeed has a huge crack in it and it’s getting even bigger. 20 miles of it is closed off from being driven on. I suppose we are going to need to hurry up and invent those Jetson-like cars sooner than we thought. Think of all the money you’ll save in tolls.
3. Coasters are no longer safe
Two years ago, I went to Carowinds in Charlotte, NC with my brother and his friend Brendon. We were hot. It was summer in NC….which, if you live here, you know that is no less excruciating than it is for a lobster to be placed in a pot full of boiling water. We had waited in line in the sun for about an hour for one of the roller coaster rides. I LOVE roller coasters, I love adrenaline and the thrill of being terrified nearly to the point of death, only to be rescued by the fact that I’m strapped in and locked in by a variety of safety mechanisms. For the same reason, I would love to try sky diving. However, this particular day was not a typical one at the theme park…or was it? When we got to the front of the line, there suddenly was a problem on the ride and it stopped running for about half an hour while ride mechanics or technicians fixed a “glitch”. Apparently the glitch was a problem with the braking mechanism. At this news, I began sweating profusely and it wasn’t simply due to the fact that the hot sun was blazing into my every skin cell, but because I truly did NOT want to go on that ride. However, Peter and Brendon, being the tough guys that they are, insisted we go. I couldn’t let my brother and his friend die without me, imagine how that would look when I had to go home and report to my mother what had happened. She would be so mad that it took him and not me! So, I went along. Plus, someone would have to tend to those two wild banchees in the afterlife, or else they would be dancing on streets of gold naked. Fortunately, nothing happened on the ride, except for the fact that my feelings of sheer and utter terror were amplified and resulted in me getting sick and not being able to continue the afternoon of riding on roller coasters. Now with this news of a lady dying in Texas, I am not sure if I could ever ride one again. I’d already written off theme parks because of the excruciating long lines, the entire herd like mentality of it the experience, and the sheer Americanism sold at every twist and turn. But now, it’s almost become an issue of reverence for me. How can I enjoy such a “harmless danger” when it has been the death to others…and all in the name of pleasure and fun. The riders with her said that she had been complaining to a park worker that her restraint wasn’t seeming to be fully operating, however, ride engineers and researchers say that there are computer mechanisms in place that do not allow the ride to start if this is the case. WITH ANY OF THE RESTRAINTS. So, why did this happen to this poor woman? The reasons are still being investigated…by Six Flags themselves. I feel that even if the truth does present itself, we’re not going to be privy to the full extent of it, not as long as we’re the general, admission-paying, coaster-riding public.
4. Yet people are still living on the edge
The other item under fire right now is that of Immigration. I recently watched a TV Show called “30 Days” in which Morgan Spurlock (Supersize Me) set people up to undergo thirty days of living in someone else’s shoes. He brings in a bounty hunter from TX to live with a family of illegal immigrants. This is a subject I need to educate myself more on, and it’s also one in which everyone has an opinion and are making their thoughts loudly known. When it comes to the word “reform” I simply want to know this, will it truly change anything? Haven’t we been in the process of reforming this place since the beginning of time? And all that we have to show for it is farms demolished by fracking, water polluted by overconsumption, and people wearing down SIDEWALKS because they are eating one too many Philly Cheese Steaks at lunch. Where is the reform to be had? Perhaps it’s time we reform to look at one another as individuals and take this into account when making a practical system for becoming a valued citizen. What is at the root of the immigration “problem”? Is it overcrowding? Less job opportunities for qualified individuals as the unqualified ones are willing to do it for fewer bucks? Is it our lack of compassion for what they are escaping? Perhaps our warm, friendly and inviting American persona is being put to the test? How welcoming are we REALLY? Why or why not?
5. Is Insecurity the new security?
You can always be sure of one thing. That there is NOTHING you can be sure of for sure. I promise that to be true. Not that I can make you any steadfast promises. But really, no matter how much I can prove something scientifically, or otherwise to myself, it still could be a completely made-up figment of my imagination. And then how would I know? So, when someone tells me I look good, or that I’m safe, or that I can trust something…I have a really hard time doing so. As I seek stability, security and certainty in this world, it seems I find more opportunities for gambles, chances, and high risks. So since everything is already so up in the air, why not live each and every day like it’s exactly that. Life can change in the blink of an eye, and while you may have your job, your loved ones, your children, your cushy 401K, pets, fancy house, blue suede shoes, and favorite breakfast cereal to depend on today, tomorrow could be another story altogether. And then we have what we think is our own private world, but are likely being spied on by our very own countrymen at any given time. This I don’t mind so much, as I’m aware that it might be an infringement on my rights, I really have nothing to hide. I’d be happy to tell them how many minutes I brush my teeth everyday, Tweet them how many hours I spent watching TedTalks one afternoon, or text the government and tell them all about the great outfit I have on today. How messed up is our country truly? Is there any allowance for us to put aside our stress and worries and indulge in more carefree living? Has virtue, creativity and passion died? When we’re in such dire straits, as we tread through such unpredictable and dangerous waters, what do we focus on? I love what my good pal, Ghandi has to say in regards to security:
“This is the secret of security: like love, at its highest, it is not something that we receive; it is something that we do. And in doing security, in being secure and promoting the security of others, we find our own.”
It starts with the spirit, not the spy game. It takes a shift toward altruism, not a shift toward shutting down others and others and others and finally ourselves. Want more security? Perhaps it begins with each and everyone of us doing our best, being true to our word, and being the person that someone else can trust.