Posts Tagged ‘Society’

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.- Vince Lombardi

See growing up is an adventure. For the first part of your life, you are basically told how to live and told what is good and bad. Often you don’t even question all of what you are told to do. Some people do question and they get labeled rebels and outsiders. Then as you continue to grow older and responsibility and expectations get set upon you, you start to see who you really are. What happens when the training wheels of life are taken away? What happens when your pedaling and steering on your own? See society and life are both scary monsters. Life is unknown, and society is often unpredictable.

Growing up requires confidence and belief. I grew up in a society where people want you to be perfect. When a teacher called on me, I couldn’t be wrong. When I played soccer, perfection was expected out of me. When I graduated high school, if I hadn’t gotten six academic excellence awards it would have been a disappointment. Spending the first 23 years of my life in school, As were demanded. There was no other option for me but perfection. We now live in a society of fact checkers and private lives becoming public because of the internet. Perfection is demanded even more than it used to be.

Growing up doesn’t always mean maturity. Sometimes a body grows up without a mind making equal strides. It is difficult to find maturity. It doesn’t always come naturally. It has to be worked at and a constant effort must be made to mature. See here is the funny thing about perfection: to achieve perfection you have to admit you aren’t perfect. Call it irony. You have to figure out what isn’t perfect to be able to fix it. So in a society that demands perfection, do we allow people enough time to figure out what is wrong and fix it? Or when are we just going to accept that perfection doesn’t matter because in the end it is unattainable?

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See life is full of tragedy. It affects everyone and people have different ways of dealing with it. Sometimes tragedy it natural and sometimes it is manmade. And it is the manmade disasters that hurt me the worst. The recent shootings at the midnight showing of the Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado truly make me stop and count my blessings. My heart goes out to all those effected by this horrible moment.

See my entire family lives in Colorado. I have a strong connection to that state and the people of that state. I remember the day of the Columbine shooting almost as clearly as I remember 9/11. Only being in 5th grade, I remember my mother, who worked at my elementary school, not telling me much and just that she was worried about our cousins (thankfully none went to Columbine). I saw the aftermath as it changed the entire country. I saw how a trench coat instantly became a badge of troubled youth. I saw  how people were quick to blame everything from video games to movies to music for causing those teens to plan and act out a massacre. Although not the first act of gun violence in United States history, Columbine was one of if not the most prominent. For many, this was a once in a lifetime heinous act. People had memorials, some made movies about it, others just prayed. Gun violence  had cut a permanent tear into the fabric of the United States.

See but that once in a lifetime tragedy turned out to be not so once in a lifetime. Since 1999, acts of gun violence seem to be on an upswing. There was more school shootings, like the Virginia Tech shootings. There was the Fort Hood shootings which effected the military. Earlier this year, there was a shooting at Oikos University, a religious school in Oakland. And of course there was the most recent, in Aurora, Colorado. The most recent shooter is the same age as me. He has been influenced by many of the things in society that I have been influenced by. He was a young mind when Columbine happened. He was raised in a society where are man who made his lifestyle fighting, killing, and blowing things up can become a govenor, where Call Of Duty is the top selling video game, and one of the worst recessions ever has negatively effected millions of people.

See what does this say about our society? Are we at the point where massacres and shootings in public spaces are becoming expected instead of outrageous? Can we not provide for the citizens of the United States? If we prescribe to the idea that it takes a village to raise a child, then we are all somewhat to blame for what happened. Does society not provide a support system for those with issues? Is society actually the problem in these people’s lives? Is it crushing them and providing expectations that sometimes are impossible to live up to? Or are these people just the outliers that are their own creation? Have these people always existed in society but now they have the weapons to make more of an impact? Why is there so many questions that have few to no answers?

See people overreact. They don’t take time to think. They have a knee jerk reaction to a huge event and don’t stop to connect the right lines. Banning costumes at the movies does not address any issue that arose from the most recent shooting. Me sitting here and saying that the second amendment needs to be done away with is over reacting, though about four or five more of these shootings and I will seriously start to think about it. The fact of the matter is, if we can’t have an open an honest conversation about what is causing these tragedies to occur, we will never move on. We need to stop attacking each other’s ideas and start listening. We need to stop looking at things that don’t matter and start focusing on what does. People are afraid to have hard conversations because they have hard answers. It is easier to attack ideology and personality than put forward a plan for change. At this point, anything is better than nothing. I’ll even listen to ideas about bullet control.

Every person has their demons. Every person is haunted by skeletons in their closet. And often, it is easier to close the closet door than to open it and see what is in there everyday. It is easier to bury a demon than it is to try to figure out what is fueling and driving it. See the fact of the matter is that skeletons and demons are ugly. We live in a society where everything is expected to be perfect, pristine, unblemished, high quality, and mistake free. We live in a society where those who deal with their demons are looked down upon, while those who hide and pretend to be perfect use a judging eye. “Oh he went to rehab,” they whisper. “Oh he is in therapy,” they condescendingly note. Yet those are the people, whether being forced to or not, are trying to make their own lives better and fix problems rather than just hide them. “But rehab is only for people with real problems.” We all have real problems, we just rationalize them in our heads to the point where they aren’t problems anymore. Or maybe society doesn’t think your addiction to religion is a problem a problem that needs a solution. Maybe society doesn’t look down on the fact that you get a headache from a lack of caffeine. Maybe your unwavering political views are praised and not seen as ideologically blinding. So in a society scared to be anything less than perfect, people choose to run. Run from the ugly, run from the solutions, and run from actually trying to obtain perfection. Now I know as humans we will always be flawed and never be perfect, but there is nothing wrong with setting yourself down a road of betterment and seeking perfection. It is easy to see what people are running from. People run from death, police, emotions, responsibility, people, trials, and tribulations. It is more difficult to see what people are running to. Is it always negative? Is it always drugs, alcohol, and abuse? Can it be to exercise, talking, and friends? There are always healthy and unhealthy ways to deal with situations in life. There is a tendency to focus on the negative and the unhealthy choices, rather than the times people run to the healthy choices. So what are you running from? Or maybe in this society the better question is, “What are you running to?”