Open Letter to America: on sloth and gluttony

Dear fellow Americans,

I am writing in the hopes that my words will perhaps trigger a slight sense of self preservation within your psyche as well as release within you the once famous American pragmatism that created the nation. You must be aware that there are two major issues plaguing our long term well being; two issues that are really quite embarrassing when you think about it and yet not so inordinate in many a literary tale about human failure. I am talking about gluttony and sloth.

First of all I'll address the current state of the educational system. We are failing our youth with the current educational system, and for those who finish high school and choose to pursue a higher education the price to pay is more often than not grotesque. Now I am not a specialist in education nor do I have an answer as to how to fix the problem (I'm sure there are plenty of people who could do that). However, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that an undereducated population will not be economically successful. And at this time in our great country people are our greatest assets. So if you think a little ahead you may note that there may be a looming disaster in the making.

The other issue which is obvious to any foreigner landing on our great shores for the first time is the state of our health. Our gluttony and sloth has created a ticking time bomb of ill health. Some studies state that over 64% of the population is over weight or obese. Don’t get me wrong here; I am not talking about matters of self image or narcissism. I am referring to the basic need for a living organism to maintain a balanced health system in order to function properly and avoid disease. This is not some esoteric idea. What we consume defines our makeup, just as we are defined by how we spend our time. If we spend our time sitting then our bodies are not able to run. Simple. If we consume unhealthy foods and too much of them then our bodies will be unhealthy and big.

This is really not a matter of ethics or religion or even politics. It is a matter of economics and self preservation. Imagine if you will 20 years from now –70% of the population suffering from preventable diseases like diabetes and heart disease because they wouldn’t eat healthy. Imagine an entire nation of under educated people, to unhealthy to be productive in the labor force and too illiterate to be productive in technology and finance. What would such a nation look like? How will the books balance? Who will take care of you?

I merely pose the problem. It is up to all to individually and collectively tackle the issues. Sure government can create policies, etc. But ultimately each individual has the major stake in their own well being. What will you do?




tres_arboles said...

As we used to say on the rugby pitch, "With you!"

ridgeback said...

well written and spot on,in my opinion.a big fan of personal responsibility.

Gazelle said...

I've read that our public K-12 educational system is based on German models from the 19th century, which were designed to keep people from questioning authority and power. If true, then the system is succeeding wildly (though perhaps not as well as the powers that be might like). So maybe the pushing of processed and fast foods are part of the same process - if we're fat AND sick AND undereducated we really won't be questioning authority, will we?

Surfy Surfy! said...

One observation from personal experience, most of the immigrants I've known in my life get swallowed up in the culture of consumerism pretty quickly and develop even worse obsessions and habits than those born here. This is especially true with some of my friends wives from south America. Within a couple of years they are getting breast implants, dying their hair blonde and buying SUVs they can't afford.
Maybe it's an airborne virus?

ras said...

Hey JP

I don't disagree that when people move to the States from other countries they assimilate to the consumer culture. It helps to drive home the point that it is an American culture issue and not a race or ethnic issue. Everyone will suffer equally when the shit hits the fan.