Search DC's Musings

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Are We A Too Nation?

Leslie and I spent a prolonged Labor Day Weekend at a Westin resort in Scottsdale. During our stay I observed the many different "types" of Americans who were also visiting and vacationing at the resort and other locations we visited. I thought, "are we a 'too' nation?"

Does the too trim guy looking at me a bit sideways think I'm too fat? Does the too fat guy think the perhaps overdressed man is too vain? Does the too vain think the mom with the stroller and two kids following behind in Spiderman swim trunks too slovenly? Are we too caught up in appearance and judgement based on appearance?

Nothing allows body and garment judgements like a pool! Too old for that tattoo. Too young for that tattoo. Too gross for that body piercing. Too tight with that bathing suit. Too...too...too hard not to keep looking at that swimsuit. Too quickly we look, we judge, we decide, we objectify.

Too many Americans appear to be too concerned about issues or situations they are not able to control. While too many Americans are too unconcerned about issues or situations they are able to control. Too much time is spent taking too much responsibility away from too many people who have made too many bad decisions. Too often the first place too many Americans look for either blame or assistance is a government. To many Americans many of our nation's problems can be solved if more of our fellow residents were responsible and accountable too.

Do we have too much government or too little? Too many of our political arguments are based on this simple question. To many it seems people and individuals need to do more and government less; too bad they say, we can't provide everything to everyone too many people don't do enough and don't face any consequence. To many it seems the government should be doing more for people and individuals they deem less fortunate; too bad they say, you have too much and we need to take some of that to distribute to those with too little.

To many there are too few consequences for too many bad decisions made by too many people. To many there are too many consequences for too many people who are in the condition they are in because they feel too much history has pre-determined the plight of too many. Too few seem to try to find a balance between too much compassion and too much consequence.

We have too much excess with too much food served on too big of a plate while we complain our waist is too big. We have too many televisions channels showing too many shows that have too many commercials. We have too much fast food at too low of prices so we say it is not too economical or convenient to buy bread, lettuce, tomato, turkey, and cheese so we make too few of our lunches. We have too many cars going to too many of the same places but have spent too much money on other transportation that is too inefficient and wastes too much of too many taxes.

We have too many decisions made that are influenced by too many groups giving too much money and not enough decisions being made by too many who are influenced by the too many voters who determined the outcomes of the elections. Too much of our political debate is focused on the too few who are on the too far extremes on an issue and too little attention is paid to those who are more able to see both sides.

To many too many of our corporations make too much money paying employees too much salary while paying too little in taxes; to many too many jobs are supported by too many corporations and companies that cannot afford to pay too much more in taxes or have too many more regulations are we will have too many more unemployed.

Too many see solutions as up or down, left or right, black or white, an all one way and none of the other. Too many of our leaders see too many solutions only in their too political environment and too few see too many solutions that take neither too much nor too little from the possible options but just the right amount.

Too fat, too thin, too many, too much, too few, too poor, too rich, too strong, too weak, too left, too right, too, too, too.

From our outset our nation has been one of excess and hyperbole. Beckoning adventurous souls to forge a new nation on a new land. Pushing across a great land over plains too big and mountains too high. Ripe with land, minerals and slowly as the decades past people with a spirit and attitude of striving not always for success but for something better for their families and children. Our history is one of success that too many like to mock or degrade or say, "but..." to diminish. Be it individual success or national, too many critics like to put too many modifiers on our achievements. These same critics tend to apply too little responsibility and accountability to those not achieving success and wish to apply too few consequences for their decisions and habits that prevent their success.

Too much blame, too much finger pointing and too much acrimony. Too little acceptance, too little responsibility and too little praise.

Too much attention is paid to too many people who like to say "too, too, too," and not enough attention is paid to almost all the people who ignore these "toos" and just do. Every day they do their jobs, they do their parenting, they do their volunteer work, they do their duties as moms, dads, sons, daughters, employers, employees, neighbors, volunteers, members and citizens.

Are we a "too" nation? Are we too lucky? Too successful? Too powerful? Or we a nation built generation upon generation of many Americans who just do and ignore all the toos? Let's start listening to those who "do" and less from those who start sentences with "too..."


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