Thursday, January 8, 2009

Is America Beyond Hope? And What's Wrong With Us?

The Anchoress writes:

I wonder if we are finally moving past the adolescent angst, and the numbness, and - per Ebert’s column, simply waking up to the fact that a bunch of loud, exploitative so-called “friends” crashed the house, called it a party, drank all the liquor, cracked Mom’s prize crystal egg and then decided to have a tug-of-war donnybrook on the front lawn before toilet papering the trees, puking and passing out. The press? Some “friends.” Congress? Some “statesmen.”

Hungover, we’re stumbling around, and realizing that if we do not start demanding adult behavior, adult leadership, less spin and a little honesty, not only from our leadership and our “elites” but from each other, we’re not going to be around to demand much of anything, of anyone.

Our friends on the left have put their faith and hope in President-elect Barack Obama. Those of us still on the fence about him hope that he is at least half as great as they say. That is more than the Bush-haters ever offered Bush, so perhaps it is a place to start.

And those of us with faith know that prayer is essential. Essential.

Your thoughts?

My Thoughts: I think it is more a matter of taking the adolescent wounds we bear post Kennedy assassination, Vietnam, and Watergate- and learning how to confront those wounds and heal. But as with many people who are wounded by their families in their adolescence, it takes time to confront those demons, especially when their families remain essentially unchanged. We've had Iran/Contra, and Monica Lewinsky, and the WMD debacle--it's all just more of the same. Some people never bring their dark places to the light, and because the behaviour just repeats and repeats again, they use apathy as an excuse for living defined always by their brokenness. Add to that the dysfunctionality of their extended family preying on their wounds, and capitalizing on their deepest fears --which is precisely what the press and political pundits do in order to sell their news--and you get a people who are locked into living perpetually their wounded adolescence. And so, as with all those who are products of a co-dependent, whacked-out upbringing--we need to get to the point of accepting that we cannot change other people. We can only change ourselves. We can only change our behaviour. We can learn to set boundaries and enforce them. We can seek personal healing and try to enact change in our own lives. We can refuse to live in the fear and terror created to keep us enslaved.

Will that happen in some large scale way? I doubt it. People grow comfortable with their demons, it becomes easier and easier over time to live with what we've always known (even though what we've known has sucked). Complacency doesn't require as much effort or personal sacrifice as does healing. The changes required to heal, almost always are conjoined with loss. That loss terrifies so many of us into just maintaining the status quo and passing on our dysfunction to the next generation.

What are your thoughts? End times? Perpetual adolescence? Beyond hope?


  1. Nothing is ever beyond hope! *warm smile* As to the end times, when I look at history, I am certain they thought they were in the end times during a few of the plague epidemics in medieval times. Or during World War II.
    The world has known great tribulations.

    It is however a good thing for a nation to realise it's going in a direction it's not wanting to. To wake up, so to speak. Sometimes change takes time, and sometimes changing just one element can set a chain reaction in motion that makes for a big turn unexpectedly and fast.
    History is made in every, single, day to day decision.

  2. very interesting post, Shannon.