I am American. I am infinitely grateful for the freedoms and opportunities that this country has allowed me and my loved ones. However, I am equally disgusted to watch them be trampled and monetized. The basis of who we are as a nation rests in two very simple concepts, both of which go hand in hand: Economy and Society.
I am a 28 year old college graduate with a Masters Degree. I am the son of political immigrants who started with nothing. I have been poor, I have been rich. I have been fortunate know a wide variety of people in my short 28 years. Living in a city like Miami has exposed me to a lot of cultures. I graduated from Florida International University, one of the most diverse higher learning institutes in the world. My conclusion? We are all a lot more alike than we are different. This is a concept that is hard for many people to accept, but until we do, there cannot be love. Truly, love is the meaning of life, for God is love.
Police shootings, terrorist threats, class warfare fueled by racial tensions. Our country is growing more, and more divided. We have stopped being Americans and we have become Latinos, Blacks, Whites, Asians, Jews, Christians, Liberals, Democrats, Republicans, Pro-Life, Feminists. We forgot that WE ARE MORE ALIKE THAN WE ARE DIFFERENT.
A large part of our sorrows stem from a malfunctioning economy.
- Student Loans: As a college graduate, I pay $500 a month in student loans just to put a dent in my $33,000 loan just for my Masters program. I currently accrue interest at approximately $6.50 A DAY.
- Health Insurance: Under "Obamacare" my penalty for not having insurance is far cheaper than having insurance. I was quoted for $250 a month for insurance, or pay a penalty of 2.5% of my annual gross income (or $700 a year, whichever is higher). I was told if I made less income, I would pay a lot less for insurance.
- Taxes: Over 30% of my income this year went to taxes. This really makes one scrutinize how the funds are being used.
- Ownership: Buying a home or owning a business gets farther from reality each day for Americans. With the amount of debt and taxes piled on top of us each day, who really wants to take on more obligation? How can we save for a down payment when we can barely make ends meet?
We didn't show up because we were working the 9-5 that turned into an 8 to 7. We were working a job we didn't like, to pay for things we didn't need, so we could impress people we don't know. We were selfish and obsessed with material things. As soon as I graduated college, I was flooded with credit card applications. This system will grab you by the foot and pull you into slavery before you even realize it.
I don't have the solution or the escape route but I know where we need to start. Love. We need to start with a love for one another, a love for what we do, and a love for our country that does not overstep a love for humanity. I understand it's easier said than done but we need to at least move in the right direction.
Stop staying late at work instead of spending time with your family. Stop watching non-sense reality TV instead of reading a book and learning something interesting. Let's invite a stranger over for Thanksgiving dinner instead of standing in line to buy a flat screen TV that you don't need. Let's get back to singing Christmas carols door to door instead of spending a ridiculous amount of money on Christmas gifts for people who don't need anymore shit. We will not be able to move freely, until we remove the rope from around our necks. It is our responsibility.
God bless the world.