I know that nothing is ever been perfect and there have always been problems in our society. Think back to the days of Bonnie and Clyde or John Dillinger. Those were iconic criminal figures of the Economic Depression of the 1930s. Most of us weren't alive then and so we don't really know if these people were looked up to or not, but there have certainly been movies made that glorified what they did -- sort of like a Robin Hood situation.
You have also seen several of these kinds of issues that have always involved politics. I think of Huey Long in Louisiana or Mayor Richard J. Daley in Chicago. These men were kingmakers and played a role in national politics as much as they did on the local scene. These men's legacies were formed around issues that involved corruption and near dictatorial powers. Their strength, it has been stated in so many words, was built on a foundation of unethical activity. The end always justified the means. Even when their personal actions did not overtly support this corruption, the men who they had put in positions of power formed the base which supported such activity.
Whatever happened to integrity? Did it not used to be part of the fabric of our society or is that just a myth. I look at the documents formed by our forefathers and the government that was instituted their by, did not that government bring us the principles of liberty and were they not founded upon personal integrity, self-reliance, and rugged individualism? It just does not seem right that such a magnificent foundation of principles should lead us to where we are today. How have we gotten to this point?
I am by no means perfect. I do not look to judge people by perfection. But, what I see today is a society that is always looking for someone else to solve their problems and the easy way out. We see a society that has given up on the ideals of excellence. Is that how we have gotten to this point?
In my line of work, I see a general lack of courtesy and manners on a daily basis. I see a true lack of respect between people who should be trying to help one another. The customer provides money and the employee provides a service. Both sides need one another and yet so many times they look at one another in an adversarial manner. One cannot exist without the other, but it seems many times that each look down at the other. They are both human, they're both going to make mistakes, and in the end it is the desire of both parties that each get what they want out of the process. How about some courtesy, some patience, some understanding, some respect? This should be true of all forms of business.
However, what we have seen develop is a game of one-upsmanship. Each party feeling that they are superior to the other party. You know it takes all of us to make a great society. If we respected one another's capabilities and tried to lift one another up, instead of building ourselves up by putting others down, then would the world not be a better place?
I am a chef by trade, I love cooking for people who enjoy good wholesome creative food, but honestly I have lost my desire to practice my profession in public. The people of this area limit the ability of top-notch talent to ply their trade, because they enjoy the process of eating and filling their gut with foods that they could just as easily prepare at home. They just don't seem to care about quality. It is about price, speed of service, portion size. I may be being too honest by stating that, but I am giving a generality about what I have witnessed over the last 25 years.
There are some people who do appreciate what I desire to deliver, but they are in the vast minority. Ten years ago this area was much more economically viable, because the companies in the area were more economically dynamic. We had people coming from all parts of the world to our area and those people respected the talents of creative people in this area. That is part of the race to the bottom that has been witnessed in our area. We have a lot to offer, but we don't have a lot to offer it to. We need to expand our horizons to the outside world, not close the area off to that world.
I really don't know how we're going to get out of this mess. There are forces that are working against solving the problems that we see in our area. And there are forces that are putting their futures at stake to try and rectify the inadequacies and negatives that have been perpetuated and put us in the vulnerable position that we are in today.
I spoke with a friend of mine who is in the real estate profession. I was talking to him about the Economic Depression that we're in and I was stating that I can't understand how people don't see that we are in an Economic Depression. He said that he believed that most people understand this, they just don't want to talk about it or deal with it -- they're scared. I asked about the real estate business and was he doing any business? He stated that he showed properties and he talked about properties, but he wasn't doing any business. He said everything is on hold. Life is on hold.
It is like we have stated on this blog before. You're either making positive progress or you are falling behind. Stagnation is falling behind. I do agree that this area has done things which will help "some" when things turn around, but what are we aggressively doing to turn things around? We have to do things to turn our economic prospects around without relying on external forces to come save the day. We are going to have to take some chances. The status quo in a period of malaise only helps to propagate that malaise.
I feel that it is incumbent upon the people of our community to look to themselves as problem solvers. If we look at the major issues that we are facing today, the common thread is that people are desiring unrealistic solutions from third-party sources. Instead of self-reliance as the principal, people are all too willing to accept charity from people who lack accountability. Who am I talking about? The GOVERNMENT.
Our government is a big problem. The people are going to have to demand accountability from the government. The government grows larger and larger and yet their accountability continues to dim. If the people continue to accept their current lot in this downward economic spiral, then they better prepare for the worst.
I do not know what the future holds, because honestly, I don't understand people. Why do people want to wait until a catastrophe arises until they take action. We have already seen a catastrophe take place with our economy and we have seen the inaction of the government and an ambivalence towards solving the problems that we face. Words, words, words... when we need action. And I may not be taking enough action, but I am acting. People can do something (anything) to help.
Integrity is all about being true to oneself and being honest with oneself. If one cannot get to the core of that general principle, then frankly there is nothing that can be done to help that individual. We need leaders, not sociopaths. The term used for those who serve in the government is “Public Servant.” The government as an entity is supposed to serve the people, not the other way around. That is the foundational principle upon which our government is based.
Corruption is at the root of our economic problems. What we see is systemic. Until we choose to call out those people who represent the forces of iniquity, then we will continue to spin our wheels forever. You better start learning and teaching you kids Mandarin. Taking the easy way out is no longer an option. The issues that we face are related to character. It is only about judging people to the extent of what is inherently right and wrong. If we are unwilling to call people out, because of who they are or some entity that they represent, then we are accomplices and enablers of whatever injustice these people are perpetrating.
We must represent and demand honesty, integrity, honor, and loyalty and we should never shrink in espousing these principles.