A-m-e-r-I-C-A-N

Rosie the RiveterDuring WWII, I can became We can as exhibited in the popular Rosie the Riveter poster. Seventy-five years later, as we mark the anniversary of VJ Day,  there is  not much we left–it got we-weed away.

The almIghty I has become I CAN do almost anything I want  whether it benefits me or anyone else.  Whether it’s

 

  • wearing a mask,
  • maintaining social distancing,
  • peaceful protest,
  • voting on legislation that may move this country forward

we have become so locked in our I Can isolation that we will harm ourselves, our country, and our future.

It takes us a while to get used to anything that might preclude us from doing what  we want, whenever we want:

  • Wearing seat belts
  • Smoking in restaurants, bars, grocery store check out lines, and on airlines
  • Wearing shoes and shirts in a restaurant
  • Giving everyone an equal opportunity to
    • vote,
    • apply for jobs and higher education
    • marry whoever we’d like
    • live wherever we can afford

But most of us get there eventually.

 

13 thoughts on “A-m-e-r-I-C-A-N”

  1. I liked your way of framing this. There’s a tension between the American cultural tradition of individual freedom and the Biblical injunctions of the Golden Rule and “I am my brother’s keeper.” We have a hard time sorting out those two philosophies because they seem to pull in opposite directions. It’s hard to deny self-interest. It seems so “un-American,” despite what they tell us in Sunday School. I think that ‘s why we are slow to adopt seat belts, motorcycle helmets, no-smoking bans, and masks until peer pressure overrules self-interests.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, but to put a “positive” face on it, all of those selfish things we do are right in line with the cowboy mentality and personal initiatives that have defined us since Colonial and Pioneer days. They are what distinguish us from cultures (many in Asia) that put a higher premium on responsibility to the clan. In general, we view that distinction as a Good Thing except when it makes us Ugly Americans or, as you pointed out, when it conflicts with religious moral values. When that happens, we are slow to resolve the conflict.

      Liked by 1 person

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