Being American…. For Dummies.

May 21, 2010

We as Americans have become lazy, co-dependent, irresponsible, and for lack of a better word….stupid. We have abandoned our common sense. We rely on others to think our thoughts. 50 years ago, if you told someone you needed to read a book to figure out how to listen to your wife….they would look at you like you should reside in a state institution. We have warning labels on our coffee to remind us it’s hot. We have laws requiring food be labeled telling us how much we should consume. We have self-help sections in bookstores that are larger than the children’s sections. We read books on how to be good parents, how to save money, how to be more organized, how to dress appropriately for work, how to talk to people, and we have even sunk so low as to read books on how to read books faster. Our newspapers are written on a THIRD GRADE reading level so the majority of Americans can comprehend the news. We have machines that answer our phones for us. We use GPS to find out where our children are. We have videos that potty-train kids. We have vacuums that clean our house when we aren’t there. We have labels reminding us not to smoke while pregnant. We have to be told that our shampoo is not to be taken orally. We are told at the beginning of movie entitled “House Of A Thousand Corpses” that it might not be appropriate for little kids to watch alone.

Apparently, we have lost the ability to do, think, or act like decent, smart, responsible adults on our own. We make ourselves feel better by calling it self-help…but based solely on the fact you are reading someone else’s words and abiding by them… we did nothing for ourselves but let someone else tell us how to be. I am not saying that there aren’t some people who benefit from all of these things. There have been people who have been helped by these things. The point isn’t that these things don’t have the ability to improve our lives. The point is…it’s sad that we have lost the ability to do it without being told how to.

Obviously, the reason there is such a demand and need for things like these is because somewhere there was someone who said…”If someone had only told Sally not to use her hair dryer while taking a shower, she would be alive right now.” When all of the rest of America thought it was obvious, because Sally was a moron, we lose a little more accountability. There are people in this world that need to be told that Wal-mart shopping bags aren’t the best toys for infants, because someone somewhere thought they would be.
It’s common sense to me…and maybe to you…but apparently not to everyone.

Therefore, I have realized that I have foolishly assumed that because you have lived in America your entire life, that because you have sat through the same history classes in school, that because you have seen the video of the planes crashing into the WTC, that you would able to figure out how to be a good American. But, how could you? There isn’t a label on the flag instructing you how to feel proud when it flies and how to treat it with reverence. There is no instructional video on “10 Simple Tips and Tricks To Remember The Men And Women Who Died To Protect Your Freedom”. There isn’t a warning label on the Declaration of Independence that says “FOUNDING FATHERS OF THE UNITED STATES WARNING: This is a declaration of the below signed individuals and their respective independence. This is JUST A GUIDE. This document does NOT guarantee individual freedom. Results are not typical. Constant vigilance on your personal freedom is required to guarantee personal freedom. If loss of freedom has occurred, please contact an informed histornian immediately.” There isn’t a seminar you can attend at the Hilton called “Being A Good Boss For Your Congressman: Make Them Work With Accountability” with the follow-up seminar “Being A Good Boss For Your Congressman: Knowing When To Terminate Employment”.

America needs a free pamphlet “Defining of the word UNITED, how to be enraged when your president forgets that Arizona is a state we are UNITED with, what to do when the President sides with a different country against a state he vowed to be UNITED with, and 7 simple ways to tell if you are breaking the law by living here illegally.” We need to a book on how to see voting as a privilege and not a chore to ignore. We need to take a class on keeping track of how your family and your government is spending your money.

We need a big manual given out to everyone at birth, and to every person when they become a citizen. We need a “BEING AMERICAN….For Dummies.” Maybe then you wouldn’t have an excuse. Maybe then you couldn’t claim that you didn’t know that our government is out of control. Maybe…just maybe…you’d learn what I already know, that being American takes pride, responsibility, and courage and if you don’t meet the job requirements than you won’t be offered the position.

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