True to a segment that NPR has on its Morning Edition, I have decided that I would do my own segment in this. The rules are simple – say what you believe, do not be discouraging, do not use only negative statments. That in mind, here is my own version of This I Believe –
I believe as the late George Carlin believed – that if a person believes that there is a solution, they are part of the problem. There is no cure-all method to what ails this country right now. There is no panacea for the modern American political climate. There is no Advil for the cultural divides that are growing every single day in this country.
I believe that America has a lot of issues right now. Things are becoming more heated over the years as people in this country are becoming more and more zealous in the defense of their personal and political credos. This is an interesting time in American history that, once again, is at the crossroads of its own destiny. It is at a point where things are changing so fast that people are struggling to catch up and they don’t know what to do.
This is never an easy thing for people to be able to live with. I above all others can understand how hard this is. Given the career path that I want to follow, it is only natural that I wonder where the future is going to be and if I have a place in it. That is the big question above all others that I think terrifies people in power in this country is that the world is changing so fast and America may not have the place that it used to have in the world that will grow around it. This new world where things are totally different than the one we understand.
With technology improving every single day and with all the things in society that are changing, it is only natural to get a little lost. This isn’t a bad thing. People’s reactions to this have sometimes been unhealthy, but to feel lost in this ever-changing world is not wrong. In fact, it is one of the few parts of what is happening in this world today that makes any legitimate sense.
I believe that the American people need to become more involved. Really, to not be involved in politics has never made much sense to me. It has never been something that has made much sense since what is happening in politics right now affects everybody. To choose to not pay attention does leave one thinking that when things go wrong, people have very little right to complain.
But while people also need to take things seriously, I do believe that people also need to have some fun. George Carlin was an amazing influence to me because he was able to understand that there are some severe problems in modern society, but if you are looking too hard at it all the time, you are destined to wear yourself out and to give up. While he openly admitted that he didn’t care what happened to society, he tried still to make his efforts to get people to think worth something.
I believe that those who think there is a solution are part of the problem because the cultural, political, and social divides are so great and changing so fast in this modern age that to believe that one idea is a perfect fit is not productive. There needs to be an open mind and an open dialogue on all things. Because if there is a perfect solution, no one person can find it. It must be a collaborative effort with people looking toward a brighter future and being able to help everybody.
There lies the problem. With so many cultural and social divides, like faith, party affiliations, and things like that, sometimes people are so dedicated to their ideologies that they aren’t willing to talk. This is the problem with modern politics. People, I think, have lost their way in a growing world where the narrative has been for them to pick a side.
So there is no perfect fit. There are good ideas, bad ideas, and ideas that shouldn’t be on the table at all. But in the end, if we can come together as a species, willing to try and fix things as best we can, until we have to come together again, then perhaps Carlin is wrong in the belief that there is no hope.
That is my version of This I Believe. Not perfect, I know, but there you go.