Monthly Archives: July 2011

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Less Complaining + More Working = A Better Life

This morning, a friend shared a blog post entitled I’m Tired by former Massachusetts Senator, Robert A. Hall. Written in 2009, it dealt with issues being widely debated, such as immigration, the economy, and capitalism in general. After reading it, I came to the conclusion that he and I agree on many, key points. It is neither pro-bleeding heart liberal or rabidly conservative. It simply talks about real people and makes sense. While I don’t necessarily agree with some of the connotations he may or may not have implied about Catholicism or Muslims, he makes a good argument, in general. It seems we, as a nation, have forgotten what it means to work.

As someone who sometimes thinks far too much for his own good, it made me reflect on my personal feelings on the topic, as shaped by my life experiences, so far. For better or worse and whether you asked me to or not, I share my thoughts on the subject with you..

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I started working during summers at 12 years of age and have been continuously employed since I was 16 years old. As a child, I knew we weren’t rich, but we had enough. I never went hungry. I always had clothes on my back. We always had a place to live. I was aware of the circumstances into which I was born and understood that I was the only person responsible for changing them, if I so desired. I’ve never taken any kind of government support, even when my meager, junior enlisted U.S. Navy salary made me qualify for it. I’ve paid for my own education, home, and everything else I ever wanted or needed.

For me, there is no shame in needing or asking for help from family, friends or government. The only shame is continuing to ask for help as a means to continue living the lifestyle one wants, without actually working for it. To this end, there is nothing wrong with the United States of America. What is wrong is that a segment of its citizens believe our country is supposed to work for them, when the truth is that countless generations of Americans dating back to the pre-revolution days understood that it was their duty to work for their country, with the ideal that our collective well-being and continued success hinges upon our willingness to sacrifice and persevere in the pursuit of something bigger than ourselves.

If one wants something more, they should work for it. If they’re unwilling to do it and find the United States of America to be such an awful place, they should apply for a working visa to go to Venezuela, Zimbabwe, China or whichever other country they feel may offer a better quality of life. Once they’re there and decide they love it, they can apply for citizenship there and renounce their U.S. citizenship. As long as you have another country to legally live in, the U.S. Government won’t make you come back. Your tax dollars count, but with so many others not paying, what’s one less discontented contributor?

If such is not the case and they’re unwilling or afraid to take a leap of faith to forge a better life in foreign pastures, those people should complain less, work more and actually make an effort to better our country for themselves, their families and fellow citizens. Instead of decrying the atrocities they are forced to endure in one of the most recognized and respected democracies in the world, they should stop bemoaning the unfairness of it all, sit down and figure out what they can do to fix what they believe is wrong.

If you want to make the country and world a better place, roll up your sleeves and climb down into the trenches with the rest of us that share this common goal. If not, please stop complaining and step aside because the rest of us have work to do.

The Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park

A set of photographs I took at the world famous Fenway Park, during the Boston Red Sox vs San Diego Padres game, on June 22, 2011.

Small town New England [Flickr Set]

Happy Independence Day, America!