...a friend made a comment about feeling much freer since moving away from the states and I must say that thought has crossed my mind quite a lot lately. Not only do I feel MORE free but also way less stressed.
I don't have cable tv so I'm not bombarded by news 24/7 nor do I watch much news for that matter, and if I do it tends to be either ABC or SBS, which seem to be less influenced by politics or wanton bids for ratings. I think it might be the ratings thing that happens in the USA that makes all those news channels go on and on and on forever ad infinitum about every trivial little thing they can use to grab more ratings and more headlines. I think this is one of the biggest reasons for people feeling so scared and stressed. They're constantly bombarded by not only what IS happening but what is GOING to happen or what MIGHT happen. Scare tactics seem to be the driving force behind keeping Americans under control.
One person made a comment on FB about France. Hunh. Well, here are my thoughts on France. Of course, don't take my words for fact but simply my theory based on what I've observed in the news (French news, btw). France's gov't seems to be slightly afraid of its people. Demonstrations, riots in the streets, strikes...hell, Frenchmen and women seem to strike at the drop of a hat. They also tend to get what they ask for, too. What government wouldn't give in to its people if the whole country threatened to shut down? I can only imagine (this makes me chuckle slightly) what would happen in the states if half the country (why not ALL of it, for that matter) just stayed home on Monday. What if they also stayed home the rest of the week too? Well, I can tell you that no one would lose their jobs, for sure.
Losing a job. How well I remember the days of being scared of opening my mouth at work for fear of not having a job the next day. Few workers have any rights at all in the US. Why is that? How did it get that way and why do Americans put up with it? What about demonstrations? Well, few Americans get off their bums to vote, why should they bother to demonstrate? What would happen if they DID, though? I'll bet fewer problems than most would think...especially if the entire country got together and started demanding what they see as their rights.
The way I see it, Americans truly have very few rights, privileges, and freedoms. They only think they do. If they DID have them, why are they afraid to use it to their advantage? Why not demand not only Universal Health Care, but also better work conditions, better education, better wages. Many would say it's laziness, I think it is fear.
I'm certainly not advocating large scale anarchy or even demonstrations on a large scale...I'm only suggesting what might happen if people actually started demanding better treatment.
More to think on and perhaps add to later.
Surprisingly, I have never really considered myself to be one for speaking out...unless an injustice has been done to someone. What better time than now? Especially when the greatest injustice of all is being perpetrated against the people of my own country. Perhaps leaving it has made me see how much better things really CAN be.