The American Culture and Where it has Gone

It has been a long time coming but I think it is safe to say we have officially lost sight of what defines the American culture.

We used to be the best. Best athletes, engineers, scientists, politicians, artists, etc. Well maybe not the best but we were some of the best and we had an abundance of confidence as well. Which my statement just encourages more American culture but I won’t go tooting my own horn.

Anyway, in the cultural and ethnical melting pot we call America today there is no single defined culture. We have Muslims shouting out that we need to accommodate their culture, Jews claiming they deserve just as much as the Catholics in America, we even have Americans crying out to change our own culture to better suit their wants and needs. With the onslaught of what we call PC culture, if we start accommodating to every single person we will be comprised of a nation full of spoiled brats that are used to getting whatever they ask for.

This is just a gentle reminder to all of those that would like us to modify our culture to suit your selfish person better that we will not do that. Or rather we should not do that.

With the amount of outcry for equality in all sorts of ways it would not be a surprise to see our government cave to these terrorist-like demands. “We want people to not be allowed to say this word.” “We want our religion to be recognized as a national religion.” So you want us to go against what this country was founded on? Free speech? Separation of church and state?

Listen here, have your beliefs, have your faith, follow your religion but do it by yourself. Don’t go around telling everybody that is what you believe in and forcing everybody to try to conform to you and your beliefs. You were the one that came to America well aware of its cultural values and norms DO NOT try to change them. If you don’t like the fact that we will not change our culture for yours, you are free to leave.

Now I know I am coming off a little strong on this one but I believe in this idea a lot. Every great country is unified by having a culture that they are all willing to accept and conform too. We still have the ideas of what makes a great culture but we do not practice them.

There are many directions our country could head in within the next few years and it is scary to think about many of the outcomes because it looks like one hell of a bumpy road.

We need to go back to the basics. Balance between right and wrong. Focus on yourself and your life. Keep to yourself. Help each other out. Unify ourselves as a people rather than pointing out our obvious differences and trying to shed light on them.

We are America. Land of the free and home of the brave. Founded by great people that fought for an actual cause. They didn’t fight to make sure people’s feelings didn’t get hurt they fought to liberate a people from tyranny. Don’t get me wrong we need to evolve and improve our country according to our world today but it is important not to forget about our roots as a country.

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Common Sense Tip of the Week: #4

#4 – Be a leader, not a follower.

A great tip I always heard from every adult I met in my younger years. It usually started with “If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?” That was always a stumper for me as a child because the obvious answer was no but I wasn’t quite sure what was wrong with that, though I knew there was. Now that I’m older I can see what was wrong: it is too extreme of an analogy for a child. We understand not to jump off cliffs but it was simply to teach us to take the road less traveled. This is something that should stick with everybody especially coming out of college or even going into college. Choose your own path and do what pleases you not your parents, friends, or anybody else. Sure it can be nice to please your friends and family but it is much more rewarding and satisfactory for yourself to focus on your happiness. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t do something just because you aren’t the first one to do it or because other people have done it before, it is simply saying that don’t act on something just because somebody else did. Follow your own path and it will lead to a more blissful life.

Gentlemen or Gentle Men?

There seems to have been a significantly higher number of gentlemen in each of the generations before Generation Y compared to the amount of gentlemen actually in Generation Y. For several reasons of course, a few of which I have outlined below:

  • Not showing respect to those we don’t believe have earned it. Which is terrible. We have preconceived notions of people without knowing their full story. The people we disrespect have probably done enough to earn our respect ten times over but we don’t know that so we go on disrespecting them which does not bode well for us.
  • We measure against ourselves against each other. This is the complete wrong thing to do. In a generation that cries out for individualism it is amazing to see how many of us look at somebody else and say “I’m better than them.” Says who?? There is no way to measure your abilities against theirs because they are a different person. The only person you should measure yourself to is your previous self. That’s it.
  • Trouble giving forgiveness. Simply put, if you’re angry at somebody, get over it. Staying angry at someone or something is a waste of time and energy that could be put to better use. Life is too short to hold grudges. You don’t have to be best friends with them but don’t go around actively hating them because it makes you look immature. Don’t be the guy that only has negative things to say about people when they are brought up in conversation. Which sort of leads into the next point.
  • Don’t talk about people, talk about ideas. See the post “Gossip: The Lowest Form of Conversation.”
  • We let other’s perceptions define us. This is something I have touched on here and there with several of my other posts, mainly in my first post about the value of a like. Letting other people’s perceptions define you shows a lack of individuality and lack of respect for yourself. How can somebody respect you if you don’t even respect yourself? Embrace your individuality and be who you want to be.

Common Sense Tip of the Week: #3

For all of you who got here from my Facebook page, keep in mind that I made that post just to test everybody out. I wanted to see how quickly you judged without looking beyond the headlines. Similar to what I wrote about in my article about the ghetto party a few weeks ago. So, for those of who you clicked this article then read it, congratulations. For those of you who just saw what I said on Facebook and then judged it from there on out, tisk-tisk. Anyways, here is the actual post!

 

#3 – If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

 

One of my personal favorites. I have always followed this rule whether it was while I was playing video games, how I play sports, or how I study and do my homework. These days we go around trying to fix everything and change things just for the fun of it. When we try to fix something that is not broken we end up creating more, unnecessary problems. This happens all the time in politics, business, education, etc. If one person makes a complaint that they don’t like the way something is done then everybody starts to scream out that we are being unfair towards them and that we must adjust everything to complement everybody’s needs. NEWSFLASH that will literally never happen. We live in an imperfect world where nothing will ever be perfect for everybody. If the political or education system isn’t working exactly the way you want it to, sorry but it is working just fine for a greater majority of people. You can’t go around telling people to fix things just to benefit yourself; that is what we call ignorant and selfish. So next time you try to start a movement or try to tailor something to your needs and cry out when it doesn’t go your way, just know that it didn’t work because nothing needed to be changed and you’re acting like a child. Keep this in mind after this next election too. That goes to all Sanders and Trump supporters.

Common Sense Tip of the Week: #2

#2 – Don’t believe everything you hear.

This is becoming more and more relevant in today’s digital world. With the amount of creatively made-up articles and videos online it’s hard to distinguish what is true and what is false, especially for young kids and those who are easily persuaded. Obviously when we were younger it was simply to shy us away from believing everything our friends told us and that should still be taken into account for sure. However, it takes on an even stronger meaning with the internet being such a strong source of information for us. Even more so with the election coming up. People go around on Facebook and other social networks posting videos that they think help reinforce their views which is just ignorant, and I’ll go into politics and social media another time, because they weren’t actually there and they have no idea what actually happened. There are so many media outlets that destroy certain political candidates (Donald Trump) because they know there is a market for hatred against them. With that large market comes large profits which is all they care about. There will almost always be an ulterior motive behind most “news” and media articles. So next time you go reading an article or watching a video whether it be a how-to for fixing an engine or an article on World War II be sure to fact check with reliable sources so you don’t sound like an ignorant buffoon.

Being Self-Aware

Let me know if you see the bad pun in that title. You may have to read the post first.

 

Everybody in your life has a perception of you and who you are as you have the same with them. It is important as an active member of society to know what you are and sometimes it’s not pretty.

I have friends that I consider to be hilarious, nice, and kindhearted  but I also have friends that I consider to be jerks, ignorant, and close-minded, but they know that’s what they are. Along with that, I know myself to be super smart, hysterical, really cool, and pretty much the greatest person ever.

Just kidding.

I know that I’m a goofball, a jackass, and very opinionated. Which is true because I just came up with those and asked my girlfriend and it’s confirmed that those are spot on so I can continue with my post.

The point to this is to be self-aware; know who you are. If you know who you are, what you are, and what you like then it leads to a happier life. That way when somebody calls you a jerk you can smile and say “Yes I am!” and move on while you’re smiling and that person is not. Compared to somebody calling you a jerk and trying to argue against and just causing more problems and therefore reinforcing the fact that you are indeed a jerk.

Not only will being self-aware help you to avoid more problems but it can help you surround yourself with the right type of people.

It is true when people say opposites attract. If you ever find somebody who is the exact same as you or similar to you, you will almost definitely not like them. Therefore, when you are aware and what type of person you are it will allow you to find the right people to hang out with more easily.

Being self-aware can also help you to not get offended so easily. When somebody insults you or points out that you are acting on a stereotype, again, just smile and move on.

Stereotypes are a huge part of being self-aware. I know that I am an average college male and I know that older adults will see me and immediately think “He probably does nothing but goes out to drink every weekend.” Which, hey, it’s true so who am I to argue with a true stereotype? They are just oversimplified realities that we take offense to because they have been used before with negative connotations when they are really just brutally honest truths.

Embrace yourself. Embrace the stereotypes. Know who you are and what you are and don’t let anybody or anything bother you. It all comes down to being the bigger person.

Common Sense Tip of the Week: #1

For those of you who do not follow me on Facebook I have decided to do a Common Sense Tip of the Week rather than the day as I know there will be times in the future when I will not be able to keep up with it. Anyways, let’s get started.

 

#1 – Don’t interrupt anybody.

Continuing with the theme of lessons learned in our childhood this one was one of the hardest for me to learn. As a child I was a motor-mouth, talking 24/7 and I was really loud too and I didn’t notice when I was being too loud until somebody told me to shut up. However this was a lesson I learned most with my parents. Whenever we were at any sort of family party and I needed something I would obnoxiously run up to one of my parents and pull the typical kid act “Mom! Mom! Mom!” until she turned around and said “I’m talking right now wait till I’m done!” As a kid I was always puzzled. I was the only thing that mattered my mom should pay attention to me how could she have done that? And to those of you who go around interrupting others’ conversations just know that’s exactly how you look. Like a kid tugging at their parents shirt screaming for attention. Knowing not to interrupt a conversation is just a product of maturity. Unless you do it on purpose while a person is talking to you, then it can be funny. To an extent of course. Again, keep this in mind next time you want to try to shove your unwanted opinion in a conversation that you’re not part of. Simple conversation etiquette.

Problems with Role Models and How we Follow Them

Having a role model is great and all but there comes a point where you have to draw the line.

Such people like Eminem, Steve Jobs, and Jimi Hendrix are and/or have been role models to many people and for good reason. They were pioneers of their art and excelled at producing quality pieces of work.

Now, we look at them and the lives they live/lived and say “Wow that person was truly amazing at their craft, I want to be like them.” Then because we are interested in them and what they do we begin to look more into their lives.

I chose these three people to focus on for specific reasons but don’t get me wrong there are other people out there that I did not mention that can follow this rule as well. Anyway, I chose these three because they have without a doubt had a large impact on several lives in a positive way. However, they also were avid drug users. Which may or may not play into what they did.

That’s where we should draw the line for our role models. Not at drugs, but at any negative trait we find. Not to say we should no longer look up to these people because we should, as I said before they were pioneers of their art. Jimi Hendrix is the greatest guitarist of all time and one of the greatest instrumentalists ever. Eminem is easily in the discussion for the best rapper of all time and in my opinion, can be considered one of the greatest lyricists ever. Steve Jobs revolutionized technology and has made contributions to our society that have brought us to where we are today and without him, who knows where we would be.

However, we have people looking up to them and reflecting on their lives and saying “Hey they did drugs and are unbelievably successful so I can do that too.”

No you can’t.

By all means go ahead and do drugs, I can’t tell you how to live but if you do don’t expect to be the next Jimi Hendrix. These three got to where they are because of their motivation, talent, and education on their respective crafts.

Rather than focusing on trying to be exactly like them and replicating their lives, focus on what they did correctly and their positive characteristics. I am sure that all three would absolutely admit that they have done wrong in their lives and to not do exactly as they did.

So look up to people sure, but just make sure your judgement doesn’t get clouded because of your affection towards them and what they do. Take the good traits from great people such as Eminem, Steve Jobs, and Jimi Hendrix and form your own personality and focus on making yourself great and greatness will come.

Common Sense Tip of the Day: #9

#9 – Look both ways before you cross the road

With two midterms yesterdaay I was busy studying and taking those midterms rather than thinking about this blog post because I have to have priorities in my life. So I apologize if this tip is a little weaker than the others and that it’s late but whatever, it still matters.

When living on a campus you have to walk almost everywhere and you notice a few, or more than a few, that don’t know proper walking etiquette like walking on the right side and don’t stop in the middle of the busiest hallway to talk to your friends but those are not the focus. No I am going to focus on a quite funnier problem I have noticed when kids are trying to cross the street. Everybody sits at the crosswalk and waits for that little walking sign to light up telling them it’s safe to cross. A generation full of kids that can’t think on their own is terrifying. I don’t need this sign to tell me when to cross I simply look both ways and if nothing is coming my way, I cross. Usually I make it across alive too it’s amazing. The other day there were like eight people waiting and no cars coming and I walked across and all eight of the kids looked at me like I was Moses parting the Red Sea. Another problem is walking when you’re not supposed too. This usually comes from the kids that are too preoccupied with whatever is on their phone, because that’s more important than the risk of being hit by a car obviously. Probably playing Crossy Road too which would make all the more ironic. Again, simple rules that we simply can’t follow because we are a generation that needs to be told how to think, dress, act, etc. If we don’t start thinking for ourselves we’re doomed.

Common Sense Tip of the Day: #8

#8 – Be grateful

“What do you say?” Infamous words we all heard our parents repeat to us time and time again. The answer was thank you. We were forced to rehearse this every time we were given something whether it was our birthday, Halloween, or Christmas. It didn’t matter if somebody was giving me a bike or a ring pop, I always said thank you. This tip extends beyond being grateful and into the full spectrum of just having manners in general that our generation has seem to completely forgotten about. Constantly seeing people refuse to say thank you for holding the door, the consistent rudeness towards any and all employees in the restaurant, fast food, and retail industries (and others like that), and the complete lack of respect towards each other shows that manners are an abundant commodity in today’s society. Just be grateful when somebody does something for you, it’s so simple. Manners are part of what separates us from the animals (that and opposable thumbs) so keep that in mind for next time a situation that requires manners arises.