Posted 10 months ago on May 31, 2013, 2:43 p.m. EST by cubedemon
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- Introduction 2.The Parable of Poisoned Well 3.The Sickness of America
Our country, the USA, came from colonial roots. When the first colonies were started like Jamestown America was seen as the New Promised Land. It was seen as where dreams were possible and anyone can be a success if they believed. This leads to the American belief system of today in which the people value independence, self-reliance, optimism and the can-do attitude. This is the belief of individualism and of materialism. We live in a business and hustler society in which money is the number one value of all.
The Parable of the Poisoned well
In a far away city, a wise king rules his people with justice, mercy, and kindness.
In the city is a well of fresh, clear water. This is the city’s only water source and all the city’s residents, including the king, drink from the well.
One night a witch, sent by the king’s enemies from a distant land, poisons the well. All who drink of the poisoned water will be overcome by madness. As she slips away, she is seen by the watchman who guards the well.
The watchman reports the witch’s actions to the king. Morning soon arrives, and before the king has made a decision, the people of the city begin to drink from the well. By noon all the city’s residents, apart from the king and the watchman, have turned mad.
Still the watchman and the king do not drink from the well.
People begin to whisper to one another – the king is behaving strangely lately. Rumour spreads the king has lost his reason.
“We cannot be ruled by a madman,” they say, and come together to overthrow their ruler.
As the rebellion begins, the king orders a goblet of the well’s water to be brought before him. He and the watchman drink from the goblet.
When the mob reaches the hall’s of the palace, the rebellion is quelled and the people rejoice: They see the king has regained his wisdom.
The Sickness of America
The values of our country like independence, self-reliance, optimism and the can-do attitude is not the cure for our country. American values are being taken to an extreme. Americans have as one of their values an extreme Internal Locus of Control. http://psychcentral.com/encyclopedia/2009/internal-locus-of-control/ Internal locus of control means “belief that events in one’s life, whether good or bad, are caused by controllable factors such as one’s attitude, preparation, and effort.” I do believe this is true but to certain extents. What happens when this is taken to an extreme? What will be the results of this? To answer this question, let’s define the null hypothesis to this. The null hypothesis is called External Locus of Control. It means that it is the belief that events in one’s life, whether good or bad are caused by uncontrollable factors such as fate, genetics, luck, or any other agency that is also uncontrollable. American culture for the most part rejects the uncontrollable factors and perceives almost anything as controllable. It almost completely rejects any fault of external agencies for any individual’s misfortune.
In America, one is not allowed to ask for help or assistance whatsoever. The average person is expected to pull themselves by their bootstraps and put on this fake bravado of optimism and confidence. If America is truthfully number one like we claim then why according to The National Institute of Mental Health are 26.2% of the population have some mental illness? http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-numbers-count-mental-disorders-in-america/index.shtml If this figure is true how is our nation number one in terms of health care? Why does 26.2% of the population have some form of mental illness? These are figures that are actually counted. What would be the real percentage for those who are unaccounted for? Let’s take a look at this article.
http://www.businessinsider.com/here-are-25-more-signs-that-america-is-not-1-2012-6 Are these figures true as well? Americans are beating their chests that we’re number one when we are not. Why do we lie to ourselves and when someone questions and challenges the lies they’re given a verbal beating mercilessly? What happens is the person questioned or examined will simply repeat trite and hackneyed slogans like “you’re envious of the rich person’s success.”
What is so ironic is that America and the American culture completely reject the Internal Locus of Control when it comes to foreign policy. American foreign policy and American culture are never wrong when it comes to the rest of the world. We always blame the enemy when any misfortune happens on America as a whole. This is one contradiction I can’t wrap my head around. Is America ever wrong on any issue whatsoever? Do we ever see any of our leaders both political and business ever admit that they are wrong in their foreign affairs? Why isn’t responsibility, internal locus of control and accountability applied across the board?
We do have a lot of material abundance but have all of our material abundance made us better? Yes, we’re way better off than those in North Korea but just because North Korea is horrible does not mean that America is a good place to be in. Just because communism is horrible does not mean its extreme opposite form of capitalism is good. This begs the question of when someone complains about their status or station in life. Why do people always use the most horrible of countries like North Korea? What if the average citizen of North Korea complained to the average citizen of America? Would the North Korean receive the same onslaught? Why can’t one be just as free in a place like Canada, Australia, Denmark, the Bahamas or any other place that may not have the best in material abundance but is still a reasonable and nice place to live?
Let’s take a look Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. http://goo.gl/4LYEf North Koreans are not even getting their biological and safety needs met and some Americans are not either. North Korea does have this worse and I will not deny this. Just because one is getting his bottom two needs met does not mean our society is good. It is just less horrible than North Korea if the media is telling the truth. How many people are getting their more top needs met like belongingness and love? What about self-esteem needs and cognitive needs? I believe the bottom two is for the body but as one goes up these are needs for the soul. Americans may be well fed physically but soul wise we are starving. Does the American business culture allow one to cultivate the mind and cultivate the soul or does it starve it? If one has to put on this bravado of confidence and optimism especially when it makes no sense and every fiber of his soul rejects it then does he not deceive himself and others?
Isn’t happiness accordance to excellence and I have to ask if life can’t be examined then is life truthfully worth living? If one can’t live with positive virtue and one is not allowed to seek positive virtue then what is the point of living? If one has to live a life of double-mindedness and deception just to make it in a given society then why bother living? If this society’s standards are spreading across the globe, maladjusted and does not allow for the betterment of the intellect and the soul then why live? What is the point of living if the pursuit of virtue, truth and excellence is a vice? If it is unacceptable to question the cultural standards and one has to follow the cultural standards that are maladjusted then does living become a vice and death become a virtue? I think the great philosopher Socrates answered that with the drinking of Hemlock.