Over the last year that I have written this column, I have said some harsh but true things about the U.S. government. Even in my daily conversations, I criticize our two-party system, complain about the greed in American society and have been known to give an impromptu speech about the talking heads at Fox News and CNN. The points I make might make me seem angry or bitter about our country and its direction, and to some extent, I am. However, I am hopeful more than anything else.
I remain hopeful and optimistic about this country’s future because there are still truly good people out there. These people are the ones who will continue to make a difference. We are not powerless as voters, as citizens and as volunteers. We have the ability to derail the train speeding toward corporate greed and political corruption disguised as “grassroots Christian morals.”
In the past few years, I have found the Tea Party is becoming more and more sensationalized and increasingly dangerous. These are hate-mongers hiding behind political offices. I hold no ill will against your day-to-day Republicans; I find many of their policies odious, but I think many of them are doing what they believe is best for our country. The Tea Party, however, lends itself to woman-hating, gun-toting and bigotry, yet proclaims itself for the everyday American. This is not the America I see.
I strongly urge everyone to look into the true character of the people we attempt to oppress every day — to look past who someone chooses to sleep with, what health decisions they choose or how a person chooses to worship. America has always been known as a melting pot of cultures, belief systems and freedom for all. The only way this country works is if these promises are held true.
It may seem like a lost cause, seeing as most of us will not hold a public office or host our own talk show, but believe we all can work to make this country what our Founding Fathers deserve for it to be. Allow yourself to become an educated voter who is not blinded by a broken bipartisan system. Take the time to become an enlightened consumer, to lower your carbon footprint and to tell corporations that we will not stand for the mistreatment of hard-working employees.
All of these decisions are easy to make, and all of them will make an impact, even for just one person. I am often reminded of the final line of the TV show Boy Meets World — Mr. Feeny’s last lesson is telling the students to “go do good.” This is something that resonates with me to this day.
We have gone through school systems and jobs that teach us how to earn money, how to follow a path and how to become an adult. These things are important, but they should not be the top priority. The generations before us have made their marks and it is our turn. I truly believe that we will become not the “selfie” generation, but the selfless generation. We are the most socially liberal group this country has ever seen and we are growing up in a time where you can make an impact just by using your iPhone.
My current favorite way to do this is by therandomact.org. I became enthralled in learning that there was a group sent to recognize people doing good. By doing something as simple as buying a stranger a cup of coffee or taking an hour of your time to read with an at-risk student, you are changing our future for the better. It really is as simple as that.
I am not your mother, and I’m not discouraging you from making an endless amount of money or landing that perfect career. If you want those things, go get ’em. However, I am pleading with you to make sure that you remain a person who will do good with the opportunities you are given.
I am not naïve in my belief that there is more good than evil in this world because we, as a society, have more potential than ever before. All we have to do is harness it and, well, go do good.
Start a discussion
Concurrence or rebuttal, if you have a strong opinion, let's hear it. The Maneater Forum seeks to publish a diversity of opinions and foster meaningful decision. Readers are encouraged to actively contribute to and develop new discussions. Add to ours, or make your own point.