A fellow member of the Global Citizenship Forum on LinkedIn, Rocio Evenett, contributed the following passage regarding her experiences in different countries they lived in.
Being a global citizen (American / Mexican / British) has given me a unique perspective of each country I’ve lived in and I fully agree with Ken’s opinion that it doesn’t take a village to raise a child…. It takes a mum and a dad (who would ideally be in a committed relationship and have enough financial resources to to bring up a child)
I am the product of public education systems in 3 countries (mainly) and can assure you that if it wasn’t for my Mexican public education I wouldn’t have a leg to stand on now that I’m competing in a global economy.
When I moved to Los Angeles (from Mexico City) the first thing I noticed was a total disregard for authority figures (teachers, parents, etc).
I was so SHOCKED the first time I came across a pregnant student in High School and felt so sorry for her parents (thinking of the typical Latin American stigma that a bastard child brings to the family). While I’ve always felt that having children is a lifestyle choice, it angers me to see my tax dollars are going to people who choose to forgo birth control and are not being held accountable for the future of the children they bring into this world.
Where is the justice in a country that makes it more difficult to adopt a pet from a shelter than removing a child from a household where there are no BASIC MORAL VALUES being instilled and where everyone is living off of someone else’s hard work?
And while we’re on the subject of justice… we have the religious groups who want to keep girls from having access to abortions or gay couples from adopting children… I don’t see them lining up to adopt every unwanted child in the country that has resulted from an unplanned pregnancy that somebody decided (out of religious fear) to carry to term or people who have NO FINANCIAL MEANS to bring up a child.
You don’t see this entitlement culture in other countries because there is NOTHING TO BE ENTITLED TO… Basic survival of the fittest….
The core message I gleaned from this is about consequences and responsibilities. If we do not straighten out the relationship between these two — which used to be common sense — our communally Epicurean socialist attitudes will ensure our downfall, both within and in the global community. If this is part of the Great Experiment, it’s the part that has failed.
However, this Darwinistic message is usually interpreted as a cruel game of dominance and luck devoid of compassion. But as Evolution does not have a stance on the existence of God, Socio-economic Darwinism does not have a position on the virtue of charity. Ironically, if there was the assurance of a comfortable existence to all regardless of their choices or circumstances, there’d be no need for charity. And that si what government seems to be trying to do — replace real charity with institutions that have no regard for the individual, so long as they are “taken care of”.
This hints at a scary truth about the extremes of either side: If the conservative uptopia is weak on compassion (in theory), the liberal one is weak on freedom (in practice). Sure, there may be freedom for an individual as defined within a group to do and have what they want (for a while), and sometimes even a license where there is no right. But the individual themself is limited even by the unacceptability that they may rise above their peers if they choose. Furthermore, the sort of freedom that shields everyone from consequence comes eventually at the price of not having any “advantages” (rewards) that result from work and good choices — and it will be just those people who still play the game of effort and good judgment who are left to foot the bill for everyone else. Sounds familiar …
So this entitlement disease isn’t an affectation of the individual, but a social problem based in one ridiculous notion: people who have more never deserve it so long as there are those who don’t have as much. Those who do the right thing and are able to pay more taxes are the bad guys and those who do nothing are somehow more pure. It’s the emotional basis of Communism, though arguably not fully in line with its rationalized principles. And if you think Capitalism isn’t sustainable, try THAT longer than a cold war’s age.
So if this experiment has failed, and we want to be just and fair, maybe we need to look at the cause of Entitlement rather than simply a band-aid of Compassion.