Saturday, January 21, 2006

society self-service

So...many people would agree that we are a self-serving society. Everything is all about the consumer, and the consumer only. You can get things to make your life easier, etc.

My brother pointed out the other day many fast-food slogans. Here are a few:
"I'm lovin' it"
"Have it your way"
"Do what tastes right" (I used this one in my term paper for Contemporary Questions)
"Yo quiero Taco Bell" (translation: I want Taco Bell)

Notice a trend? In the first one, it's about whether you like it or not. The second: to have things done your way. The third: don't do what is right, do what feels right. Lastly, get what you want.

All of these reflect, as I see it, a society that puts the individual first. I was hanging around afterschool at my brother's track practice the other day, just sitting on the bleachers and people-watching. There was a group of about 5 students not 10 feet from me, "slacking off" and not running or doing anything of the sort. Instead, one of them was saying how "my parents don't care" and another asked, "why don't you have a party?" They continued their conversation, and I sat and observed. But not once did any of them say hi to me, or bring me into the conversation. One random guy asked me if I was Adam's sister, and then he left, but that was it. Ms. Suzy said it was "the Impact training" of bringing people into the group.

I was quite content to just sit and observe the teenage species in its natural habitat, but it makes me think. These same kids never really talked to me while I was in high school; but then, I never really talked to them either.

"A stranger is a friend you haven't met." Can't people break through stereotypes and get to know the person's heart? My cousin was on the phone with a telemarketer person who apparently didn't speak English very well, and she hung up on them, telling them to call her back when they had someone speaking English. But think about this: You have European schoolkids growing up, learning English, French, and German. Meanwhile, here in the States, we learn English, and maybe French or Spanish in high school. I would say they are the smarter because their brains can handle more than one language. And just because someone doesn't speak English doesn't mean they are intellectually inferior.

But back to our selfish society, I was reading Blue Like Jazz and Don Miller talks about this same thing. His conclusion is one that I understand and I need to work on myself. "I am the problem." We must first become unselfish ourselves, before we can truly rant about society's issues. We, as individuals, are the reason society is the way it is: because society is a group of individuals.

Which means, therefore, that I need to quit being selfish, and look out for others' needs, and truly care for them, and be open and honest with them before I can complain that I'm an outsider.

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