Tuesday, September 23, 2008

motivate me

Well, after an unprecedented and may I mention intelligent and well-balanced response from my last post of my opinions and Devil’s Advocate POV on the criminal justice system of America, I got to thinking. My two friends had, and please call the web developers now, probably the most intellectual Facebook conversation in the site’s history. Both brought up valid points and interesting arguments, but the fundamental idea I got from the entire conversation is that something is wrong with Americans. Notice the ‘s.’

People nowadays are constantly bashing America and its social systems for not working, catering to the lazy, or being intrinsically barbaric. As long as they exist, capital punishment, 2nd amendment rights, and welfare will constantly be debated, bashed, and reformed. While the pencil pushers and legislators work with the funds of the tax paying American, no amount of laws, edicts, or amendments can change the inherent nature of the citizen.

The key to success on any level is of course motivation. Sports teams don’t win championships without it. Students don’t get labels like Valedictorian if they lack it. And the average American is in desperate need of it. But does the latest Bill on Capital Hill endow it? No.

Motivation is a quality that comes from within the individual. Teachers, social workers, politicians, pastors, parents, etc can support, instruct, and be role models. But no person on this planet has the power to make people have the internal drive to better themselves. Sure, Oprah can blink at a pile of pages and make it a best seller, but no matter how much she shakes her arms and raises her voice she can’t make me care. Teachers are having their motivation chipped away piece by piece by the little punks in the back of the class who care more about MySpace than mathematics. A young man who can list every starting player’s career stats on the Chicago Bears offensive line can’t pass Freshman History because he won’t put down his Madden 2009, get out of his dorm, and go to class. Do these individuals lack the resources or opportunity?

In America, motivation is a resource more scarce than petroleum, yet it seems to sell it self away for so much less than the $3.67 I filled up with this morning. We are a nation of blamers that constantly tear down the systems. When those walls crumble and the smoke clears, you’re going to be left with a group of people with dirty hands and heaps of apathy. I believe in exponentially increasing the funding in the education system as well as offering easy outs for the dropouts who wish to slip through the cracks and live a life of remorse. I also believe in a welfare system that is teaching people to fish, not throwing them out by the boatload on my tax dollar.

If a man had a recipe for the best martini in the history of the olive, it would do him little good if all he had was cheap vodka. Americans from coast to coast need the reform. The participants in these systems to better American need the motivation to better themselves to turn government handouts into real opportunities to become contributory members of society.

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