What has happened to America since 9/11? We, as American, believed ourselves almost untouchable since we were separated from most wars by great oceans. That day in September brought us into the world connected to all the rest. Since then many of our “social issues” have increased with no one being able to jump ahead of the onslaught.
The day after 9/11, we saw the best in America pulling together helping one to another without questions.
Yet, today the hate, distrust and anger keeps growing where groups can not longer dialogue about simple things. During this time of Babel, the concerns that face families soar and blame has escalated. Many say its the fact we have not had any major wars and over all things are good. Yet, people are not happy. More than that there is a bad undercurrent.
Divided we stand, means we will fall. That fall we see in the rise of almost all social concerns: health, mental health, drugs, addiction, overdosing, trafficking, gang violence, mass shootings, abuse, bullying and suicide.
We might have a job, a home and money, but we have lost our optimism. Its more than not being happy. We are facing an onslaught of social crises and they are all going up. Something is missing from doing well in America. Why are there so many social concerns?
“In sum, the United States offers a vivid portrait of a country that is looking for happiness ‘in all the wrong places.’ The country is mired in a roiling social crisis that is getting worse. Yet the dominant political discourse is all about raising the rate of economic growth.
And the prescriptions for faster growth – mainly deregulation and tax cuts – are likely to exacerbate, not reduce social tensions.”Jeffrey D. Sachs
UN-commissioned report on the world’s happiest countries.
“According to Jeffrey D. Sachs, one of the authors of the report and a special advisor to the United Nations Secretary General, there are four main problems currently plaguing Americans, all of which he says relate intrinsically to health:
- Isolation – Americans are exhibiting less “pro-social” behavior like helping strangers
- Distrust – We’re increasingly wearing of one another’s motives
- Corruption – Americans increasingly see governments and businesses as corrupt
- Rising inequality – The gap between rich and poor is widening
“In other words, “America’s crisis is, in short, a social crisis, not an economic crisis,” Sachs writes.“
Resource Business Insider (2017)
We would correct the four points. During the last three or four years since this article, more has been revealed.
- Isolation – American “pro-social” is divided to specific groups excluding other groups as evil in thought, intent and deed. There is no bridge to heal.
- Distrust – People have drifted into groups that are divided. There is flat out hate and anger. There is zero belief the other has any good intentions. The only answer is to stay away and uphold the belief as truth. Proof of mistaken understanding is not an option.
- Corruption – Americans now have a dichotomy and are split. They see governments and businesses, as both corrupt and savior. Without them they are unable to succeed. That is the “good” government. The other is “evil” that has to be destroyed to survive. No other explanation is possible.
- Rising Inequality – Groups no longer believe in the “global human condition”. The focus is solely on special interest groups and their own very specific suffering.
This is not about money or any other division. Its about the emptiness inside that is not being addressed or healed. There is no recovery. Carl Jung addressed this “mad” dichotomy of God occuring with the removal of the holistic Quatrun (female) to the Trinity (only male). It is seen from the with the “death” of God, and the installation of “science” as the supreme ruler.
“Despite the social factors contributing to the diminishing wellbeing of Americans, politicians are unwilling or unable to approach the issue with any nuance. They can’t see beyond economic growth.” Ryan Bort
“I think we all sense a high anxiety in American society,” Sachs continued. “Inequality has soared and trust has declined. Many of the underlying determinants [of wellbeing] have deteriorated. That’s why studies like this are very important. They help to draw a spotlight on what’s working, what isn’t working, where things are getting better and where things are getting worse.”
Resource Newsweek (2017)
- GOP per Capita – Average
- Social Support – Average
- Life Expectancy – Average
- Freedom – Average
- Generosity – Not important
- Trust – Low
- Corruption – Low
- Dystopia – High
DYSTOPIA is an imagined state or society in which there is great suffering or injustice, typically one that is totalitarian or post-apocalyptic. (oxford). Thus, people believing the world is unsafe, they are suffering unjustly and things are not getting better to the point they are now changing how they act.
People would argue the solution is to build the “perfect” world where all things are good and fair. This expectation of the “world”, is fraught with failure. Everytime the world is not a utopia, life falls apart again. The expectation is unrealistic.
The goal should not be UTOPIA, the perfect state or society. That is the external world. The external world always changes. Trying to make the world one way that is perfect for one, will never work. What is good for one will not necessarily be good for me.
We can see how traumatic is not to have the world you want. Every time the world did not line up with your expectation, upset and anger can arise. With the failure of the world to meet desired states, how could we be happy? Someone has to be to blame.
The answer is not about making everything equal and fair. The world will never be the perfect society for everyone. One special group over another can not define what that world would look life. Life is change, ebb and flow, and flux.
Here in America, our forefathers designed our country not to define what our government would be. They designed the government to be a dynamic living set of instruction on what the government is not to do to the people. How the government will work with its checks and balances to ensure corruption does not gain a choke hold. That the government was there to protect the rights of the people and not infringe on their freedoms. Its flexible and moves with the society and its people.
Amidst the change of the world, our happiness comes from is inside. Its our sense of wellbeing. As the world changes, our health and wellbeing is our ability to adjust to the ever changing world. Our forefathers knew this and all the wisdom traditions have taught this throughout time.
Thus, the solution is going to be our ability to balance after a life event or crisis. That is empowerment. This is our ability to do what is best and right, beyond what happens.
“EMPOWERMENT is a set of measures designed to increase the degree of autonomy and self-determination in people and in communities in order to enable them to represent their interests in a responsible and self-determined way, acting on their own authority.“(wikipedia)
“A public policy response built around wellbeing rather than corporate profits would place the rising addiction rates under intensive and urgent scrutiny, and would design policies to respond to these rising challenges.
“Such responses would perhaps begin with the following types of measures:
- Stringent regulations of the prescription drug industry, and a much tougher crackdown on companies like Purdue Pharma that knowingly contribute to massive substance abuse;
- Urgent and honest public reflection and debate on the sociology of addiction epidemics, noting the role of high and rising income inequality in unleashing addictions;
- A rapid scale up of publicly financed mental health services for addiction, anxiety and mood disorders;
- Strong and effective regulations to limit advertising and to enforce warning messages regarding addictive products and activities, including digital technologies, obesogenic foods, lotteries and gambling activities;
- Stringent restrictions of advertising to young children and adolescents of potentially harmful products and activities;
- Mindfulness programs in schools to help children to avoid the lures of substance and behavioral addictions.
Our country is young. It was based on the belief of God and the God given rights of all humans. Yet, some of our philosophies and actions removed God from our politics. The culture put science above God. The science based research was escalated in the 1940s. Yet the study of consciousness did not take hold until the late 1990s. We believe the dichotomy is the separation between the start of science based understanding prior to the consciousness based understanding. This lag time is the mental split being projected into our current world understanding, thus divided.