Admiration for the Nation

22 Jan

I don’t have much national pride, current political awareness, or faith in the government. I am by no means an historian, but I’ve studied my fair share of history in school. I feel like a have a higher-than-average appreciation and knowledge of history, but I’ve become cynical about modern America recently. I just don’t really have faith that politicians are good anymore, and I believe we’ve become too complacent to really do anything about it. I know that we all really do need to work together if we want things to get better; truly, I wish I could get on that bandwagon. But I just don’t see it working out; I think people are very selfish, and overall just look out for their own well-being rather than the good of the whole.

I really wish I wasn’t like this. I wish I could believe that the government was doing good things, that they weren’t a money- and fame-hungry organization that only gets things done when they’re running for office. I want very much to believe that people are really good at heart. That those are the people in power. With a new administration coming in, only time will tell.

My friend Anna is very politically active and aware. I envy her passion for politics and her belief in the power of people. I wish I could be more like that. She likes watching the news and knowing what’s going on in the world, while I feel like there’s not much to see other than hatred and suffering. I do think it’s important to know about those things going on in the world, but after a while it’s so heartbreaking to see such violence and apathy that it becomes discouraging. I think I’m a lazy idealist; I want the world to be free from disaster and suffering, but I’m not really doing anything about it. I feel powerless, I guess? I don’t know. I’m not really sure why I don’t do anything; I really feel like I should, but I don’t. There’s no excuse for that, really.

I envy my friend Laurann for having pride in being an American. It was such a big deal to her to become a citizen, while I feel like it’s something I mostly take for granted. I’d rather be off somewhere in Europe, exploring rich cultures, than be over on this side of the pond watching people fight on TV over the Right or the Left. Not that other countries are without their problems, but there’s just something appealing to me about living in some great European city for the rest of my life. Maybe it’s our lack of identifiable (or valuable) culture over here.

I’m not a big fan of the big political machine, and I think we could stand a major overhaul. Anna and Laurann, who care very passionately about the US and have a healthy respect for the government, are very intelligent, well-spoken women who really hope and work for a better future. I don’t really feel like I’ve been doing that, even though I wish I could say that about myself.

To say that I was alive at the time of “great historical events” doesn’t really hit home for me. I mean, yes, it’s certainly unprecedented, and it is important. No other era in the history of America or the world has ever been like this one. But so often I find myself wishing I could go back to other times, find something new. I very often feel a disconnect between myself and the big picture. My immediate world–my friends, family, school–all of those things I feel a part of. But I feel very disconnected to the overall identity of America. Somehow I just don’t get excited about it.

I’m not proud of that. It’s something that I would like to change. I think it will be very difficult. I’ve been reading Jon Stewart’s version of  America, which, truth be told, is kind of accurate. It is, at the same time, completley crude and ridiculous and yet surprisingly true, to some degree. It’s made me more cynical, I think.

Here’s to hoping for a bright future, where I can truly support the government and feel supported by them. I want to really make an effort to know what’s going on in the world around me, and find things to become passionate about. I think I have potential to do something really great; I just have to find it.


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