No, Seriously…

As much as I try to look at life with a positive spin, and look for humor in most things, I can’t help but feel that lately, there isn’t so much to laugh about. Every time I sit down to write, it’s usually because something funny happened, or something bad is happening and I’m trying to look at it from a lighter side so that I can, at the very least, accept it, and move on.  I’m known for my sense of humor.

There is something seriously wrong with a world, though, that can allow so much to go on that is just plain wrong.

How can a society allow genocide to occur, and look the other way as if it isn’t happening. I believe that in my country, if it isn’t happening to us, it isn’t happening.  At least, that’s the feeling I get with what trends on our social media, with what fills our front page headlines, what leads in our late night monologues, and what’s worse, what is being taught (or not being taught) in our school systems.

I was horrified to find out that only five states in our country have a history curriculum at the high school level that includes World War II and Holocaust studies. That explains why most college level students never heard the expression “concentration camp,” didn’t know who Joseph Mengele was, couldn’t locate Normandy on a map, didn’t know who was President during WWII, never heard of the St. Louis  and couldn’t even define the word genocide, even though it’s happening as I write.  Oh yeah, that’s happening somewhere else.

Why is extreme anything okay? (Okay, maybe extreme sports are okay, if they want to risk their own lives).  There is no place for “my way or the highway” in this world anymore.  Anywhere.  No extremist group should have the latitude that Al Qaeda, Hamas, ISIS or anyone has had.  Why, all of a sudden, has this world been so afraid of offending their tender feelings?  What happened to live and let live. Why can’t we say the pledge of allegiance to our flag in school?  If you don’t believe in God, then don’t say it. That’s your right.


And how can a healthcare system still treat mental health patients as second class citizens, when time and time again we’ve been given evidence that it is an issue that needs to be considered seriously. How many more people that are desperate will show up in schools and movie theaters with assault weapons, in a state of mind that is obviously very sick, before we make mental health care accessible to everyone.  What will it take to treat mental health professionals with the same respect (pay scale, reporting, etc.) as other healthcare specialists?  Even people’s misunderstanding mental disorders like Major Depressive Disorder or Bi-Polar Depression was painfully obviously after the death of someone like Robin Williams, who suffered from a real disease.  People made comments and posts, accusing him of being weak, of having plenty of money to get help, and just not understanding that he was sick.

And another thing… How come it’s okay for a convicted criminal to continue to play college football?  Is it because he is a Heisman Trophy winner and he’s just too good to sit on the bench, or for that matter, in jail?  Is the Alumni Association of his school operating under different laws than the rest of the country?  Is winning the National Championship that important to them that they allow this horrible example to be set?

Oh yeah, and how about the mothers who take their pre-teens and tweens to swoon over Justin Bieber even after a string of bad behaviors, only to find out that he won’t be showing?  (I’ll not surmise as to why.)  Is the tail wagging the dog?

And why is it that our poor people, our elderly and our disabled are the last in line? I’ve worked in development and fund-raising for over twenty five years, and cannot, to this day, understand why it is so hard to raise money to help the programs and services for the most vulnerable part of our society.  Is it because nobody wants to face the reality of what could conceivably happen to them?  Are they so far from it and lost in our American way of entitlement that they don’t even know this exists?  I am not a Socialist, and I believe that if you earn it you have a right to it.  But I also was raised to help those less fortunate than myself.  Are people not raising their kids that way anymore?  Doesn’t anybody give just because it is needed anymore?  In the same way, we aren’t teaching about the Holocaust and World War II in high School, is the Greatest Generation going to be the last generation of altruistic philanthropy?

No, seriously… have we become so self-absorbed and entitled that winning championships, appeasing our children, and worrying only about what affects us directly, has replaced some of the basic tenets that made this country what it was? This country started as a place to come to escape all of that kind of thinking and behavior.  It was the haven for political and religious freedom.  We fought for it.  We went through great pains to establish it.  We have, through the years shed much blood, sweat and unfortunately, tears, to maintain it.  What has happened to us?  Seriously?