"Little Brains, it's what we like to call you people behind your back." That's a quote from one of my favorite films, "Defending Your Life". Essentially the movie is about Daniel; he is killed in a car accident. In the afterlife he finds that we are all judged by how much we fear. More often than not we don't use much of our brains (around 5% according to the movie) and that getting past fear makes us smarter.
This was one of the few movies I've seen in my life that actually has real practical application in the real world. This is especially true now, today with the seemingly impossible financial crisis we face.
I am angry, pissed off, and yes, a little bit afraid. I have a job however it is very clear (in my job and company) that I am viewed as a disposable asset. Basically a number on a spreadsheet that can be positive or negative. Perhaps looking at humans as figures, facts and yes, spreadsheet cells has put our economy, security and national personality in jeopardy.
What do I mean by "national personality"? Well, I seem to remember my parents pounding into my head that human beings; friends, family, even strangers are more important than money. Americans, at least in the past, cared equally about each other, the good of our country and the good of our neighbors. Now our pocketbooks seem to dictate our collective thinking.
It would be convenient to lay all of the blame for our current crisis at the doorstep of politicians. Or the Chinese. Or the oil companies. Or the Middle East.
However what I think makes all of us angry is that we did this to ourselves. Sure there's the errant asshole that thinks the whole world is out to get him. However the way I was brought up was to take responsbility for my actions. None of this bullshit of blaming others. We elected assholes to Congress (and the Whitehouse), we shopped at Big Box stores, consumed too much and all wanted to be "managers" and not workers. We are mad at ourselves. And if you aren't mad at yourself right now, you are in some serious denial.
My fear is that more people aren't angry. My fear is that more people are letting their neighbors fail. My fear is that as a society here in the United States, we are looking for quick fixes. My fear is that we're placing too much emphasis on the President fixing our problems. My fear is that we're still looking to solve our problems with a pill, a credit card or with pushing it to someone else. I have a distinct feeling that the "someone else" we are pushing our current fiscal crisis to will be my kids and yours. Really, even in our great democracy does anyone have any idea what it takes to fix a global problem? Or even just fix a problem with 300 million Americans?
Hence my point. I hate being afraid. And I bet every single person out there that has lost their house, is in foreclosure or has not $5 in their pocket for lunch is dealing with the same fear. According to our society I make a pretty good living. How come I can't afford my diabetes medication this week? I hate being afraid.