What is wrong with society?

Kristin Jindra, Staff Writer

I sometimes wonder what is wrong with society. That sounds bad, I know, but I’m talking about some of these bad tendencies we seem to have picked up that have started to become the norm. You have to admit, we don’t live in a perfect world, but we like to promote the idea that America is close to perfection. In reality we just create a world that seems ideal merely because we “leave out” the anti-idealistic parts. Look at our soldiers, for example. They deserve such honor because they are courageous enough to take part in the ugliest part of America for what feels to be an excellent cause. We ignore the ultimate sacrifice they make for this thing called “freedom,” something we supposedly have but also something we haven’t necessarily needed to fight overseas for since World War II.

Soldiers are enlisted to do the least ideal thing imaginable, war, and yet our country still manages not to give active soldiers and veterans the highest honor possible. Instead, we save that for billionaires who live behind the scenes running their billion-dollar companies and paying less in taxes than those on a middle-class income do. That’s not ideal, nor does it sound like freedom to me. These men and women make up such a small percent of the population, but they run the world we know.

A lot of this is beside the point. There are many big world ideas that I know we can’t change because it’s something that not even the president of the United States can do much about.

Why? Well the catch is that freedom. Passing laws that add restrictions or regulations to the life of an American citizen is almost always going to go against the Constitution anymore. Rightly so, because these were laws passed originally to provide all those living in this wonderful country the ultimate freedoms. We’re starting to realize now that this also is starting to become a choice between our freedom and our safety in a lot of cases, which makes a politician’s job even harder.

Now, I hate politics, but I know the world I live in. For me, it is one that barely goes further than the state of Nebraska. I also listen to some news and people that I think are informed. What I know about my little world is that people have become ruder. Instead of being friendly to your neighbor, we seem to believe that it’s better to be suspicious of them and keep our distance until we think they can be trusted.

I also know that we say we set the bar high for people, but a lot of the time we end up settling for way less than what we think we deserve.

Along these same lines, we like to have high demands of people and also expect quality in the face of timeliness. We don’t seem to understand things that don’t always go hand-in-hand. What really troubles me about all this is how complicated and depressing it is for a maturing farm-girl, who strives to embody honesty and kindness to see her little world lowered to this standard.

We won’t ever achieve idealism, let alone perfection, in the United States, unless we all throw away what we know and aim to care more and fight less. We’ve become an angry and cowardly population, it seems, and we need to turn towards being bold and respectful. If everyone in the United States took an oath to be empathetic towards others and try to imagine what it is like in another person’s shoes, could you imagine what kind of country we would live in? We won’t ever weed away all acts of crime or wrongdoing and we won’t ever be entirely perfect, but we could become better, kinder humans, and I like to think it can start with one.