if you can answer these questions I will be mentally content forever

I’ve been ridiculously bogged down with all sorts of thoughts lately, and unable to successfully translate any of them into a complete, lucid blog entry.

Are my disdainful reactions to many aspects of our increasingly materialistic/consumeristic culture based in anything good, or just a way to judge others while ignoring the theoretical plank in my own eye?

Why am I determined to get Fermin and I through the immigration process intact but constantly complaining about my own country?

What would it be like to really live in Mexico?

Is everyone just a product of their environment? If we plucked kids who live with nothing (materially) out of some Third World environment and gave them Nintendos and computers and cool clothes and cell phones, would they turn into lazy American-esque kids in a few heartbeats?

Is it normal to be in a constant state of moral dilemna?


5 Responses to if you can answer these questions I will be mentally content forever

  1. Dad says:

    Though I am of limited conservative intelligence and poor upbringing, I will offer the following:

    I think you are a logical (conservative) thinker who is trying to become a good liberal. Liberals are better than the rest of us, smarter than the rest of us, have the moral highground over the rest of us, and have a duty to lead and protect the rest of us. Logic tells you this is not true, but liberals don’t need logic to tell them what is right, but you have your dad’s strong logical genes, but liberals know they are right without having to think about it and on and on… ….. so you are in a dilemna.

    You complain about our country because that’s what liberals do because being patriotic and appreciating what you have is so old. Everyone seems to want to immigrate here, legally or not, so logic tells you this country can’t be so bad, but smart liberals know it’s bad so you are in a dilemna.

    Wal-Mart is bad, but everyone wants to work there – dilemna.

    Big oil is bad, but gas prices are cheaper in the US than anywhere in the world – dilemna.

    Liberals feel, they don’t think logically, but you are cursed with a logical thinking brain – dilemna.

    Lastly, Americans are the hardest working most productive people in the world, and they have been for quite some time. Even the blindest of liberals will agree with this, I believe. So don’t be too hard on lazy American kids – They’ll probably turn out ok.

  2. […] 15, 2007 Posted by laurafern in random thoughts, daily grind, faith in my world. trackback Ah Dad, wouldn’t life be perfect if I turned into the ideal Conservative? Being logical does not […]

  3. Jen Janscha says:

    Ah, this is fun–I do love a good spar!

    Might I offer my uninvited opinion? Oh let’s do.

    In the roughly 27% of my life that has passed I’ve managed to piece together the following about humanity, social injustice, and the negative potential of mankind: If you’re not depressed, you simply haven’t been paying attention.

    Perhaps we’ve become too cynical for our own propaganda. I too feel like patriotism is a rather transparent method of controlling the masses and, along with maintaining the rich/poor divide, inspiring political support and military participation, respectively. From that mindset, I find it easy to say that America is great… at least, it’s better than most. But I’m hardly about to revert to the nineteenth-century notion of American exceptionalism and manifest destiny. Where does this leave us? It doesn’t look good.

    I have little hope for those already in government, and I don’t really trust the public to vote them out because (a) we don’t receive enough information about alternative political positions/candidates to constitute a legitimate choice, (b) our elections are focused around “issues” and candidate character fluff instead of policy, (c) people -the voting public included- rarely make decisions based on logic/reason (which is why political candidates don’t waste their breathe talking about policy).

    So I guess this explains a little about my negativity, but what about party affiliation? Ah, the Republicans and Democrats–always fighting. Good thing I tend towards socialism. Hopefully I can flee to Canada or Sweden before they all realize they’re really the same party.

    Ha-ha, just kidding…(?)

  4. laurafern says:

    Excellent thoughts Jen — and exceptionally well-said. Thanks.

  5. Laura says:

    I will try to answer these questions, as difficult as they are, because I have asked myself the same questions over and over. These are the answers that I have found…for now, at least:

    1. Well, it could be both. It is very easy to fall into the habit of judging others in this way while feeling very superior and enlightened. Nowadays, when I think about these things, I remind myself “You are guilty of it too.” (Which inevitably leads to feeling eve more guilty). However, you might be a part of that materialistic machine, but at least you can recognize it and you are (mentally and actively) trying to make positive changes in yourself.

    2. Because you can! As you’ve said before, part of being an American is being entitled to your own opinions about our country. The first part of your question is a little trickier to answer — there are all of the usual reasons: better economy, safety, opportunities, etc. I think there’s something deeper, though, and I think about it frequently in regards to my own situation, and I have yet to uncover that deeper answer….I’ll let you know if I do.

    4. I think it depends on where you live. In any case, though, I think it probably is a lot different than just visiting. You’ve lived in another country before, so you know that it takes patience, flexibility, understanding and humility.

    5. I’m still naive and inexperienced enough to believe that if you “raise your kids right” you’ll be able to keep them from turning into Nintendo-playing, text-messaging zombies. But I’d imagine it’s hard not to come from a less-developed country–where you hardly had money for food much less electronics and new shoes–to the U.S. and not be sucked right into American consumer culture.

    6. If you’re not, then you probably aren’t thinking very much.

    Life doesn’t seem to make much sense, but the best you can do is to keep asking questions and looking for answers, and you’ll know that you haven’t wasted your time.

    I should have stopped after question #1!!

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