Letter: Common practices for all citizens

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To the editor,

By virtue of their determined hands and eloquent tongues, the founding fathers of our nation set forth to construct, in will and in word, the greatest nation thus far known to man. Not a nation of tyrannical rule, or of self-satisfying gluttony, but one requiring the dedication of its citizens, the honor of its civil and governing servants, and the sweat all of living under its banner, to sever any and all bonds that may limit this nation and the freedom of its people.

Since the declaration of our founding fathers, many generations have fought, bled, and sweat to maintain these ideals. Unfortunately, it seems we are now at an impasse. We are currently writing the future history of America, and this period will not be known as the technological revolution, or social renaissance, or even the time of great calm. This time will be known as the Era of American Apathetic Atrophy.

No one can blame us. We currently have a governing body which is no longer of, for, and by the people, a large percentage of our population is too busy breaking its back to barely remain just slightly in debt, while the rest of the population works to either take advantage of the hard workers, or to take advantage of the system of civil benefits that come from those who earn an honest day’s pay. All the while, we refuse to invest in our future, and in an attempt to appear to be a global power we teach our children to copy and paste their way to a future where technology has plateaued and math, science, art, proper English, and physical ability no longer matter.

In reality, everyone should blame us. Not just the top 1 percent, not just those supposedly serving us on the Hill, and not just big business. We, the people, each and every one of us, are to blame. How we live, how we are governed, how our neighbor lives, and more is on the shoulders of each citizen. The responsibility is shared by all, and here are some words of advice for those willing to listen, but more importantly willing to act. Peaceful protest is a powerful tool, but value cannot be gained from the soil unless dirt stained hands have removed the rock, tilled the soil and planted the seed.

For the big business:

Employees are not just tools to be used, bent, and replaced. They form a symbiotic relationship with the company, each depending on the other to provide what is needed for survival. If a company’s employees prosper, so shall the company. This also holds true for the employee. If you dedicate yourself to your job, not just your paycheck, you may find the rewards to be far more fruitful.

A key function of business is investment. Companies invest in land, buildings, technology, and tools among other necessities. Recently, however, it seems that one critical component is overlooked by American companies; America herself. What many major companies forget, or rather choose to ignore to increase the bulge in the wallets of their corporate leaders, is that by investing in American personnel, buildings, and equipment, they are directly investing in the economy that will purchase their goods or services. Again, if these employees prosper, they will have more money to spend, and if the company does business correctly, and makes a quality item, the people will provide a proportional return on investment. This investment might appear to only provide long term gains, but don’t let it fool you, this method will not only provide returns, it will provide strong long term stability that will maintain those profits. In order for this to be a true success the American people must dedicate themselves to buying American goods. Remember that symbiotic relationship?

For the government:

No one should ever claim a government position in order to receive personal gain. These are positions of honor, meant to serve the people of this nation.

Always be accountable. Base your votes and decisions on what is best for the people, not necessarily what is best for your party. Unfortunately we have a two party system, this means it is all the more important that the parties work as a team of balanced forces, not as roadblocks on the path to our nation’s future.

Taxpayers’ money is not your money. Just like a bank, or any other loaning entity, there exists an expectation of return on investment. Be certain of the return before spending.

The people of this nation must also serve the government. Voting isn’t a right, or a privilege, it is an obligation. However, the obligation is not just in the act of voting, the obligation comes from casting an informed and decisive vote. Inform yourself, read a newspaper, then read ten more. Search online, then converse with friends, neighbors, and even childhood bullies. Information is above all the most important tool to ever be wielded by mankind.

In conjunction with voting, you should be attending your town/city meetings, as well as, taking part in your community. The more we volunteer in our community and serve our neighbors, the more we will reduce the financial burden on our government.

In regards to financial burden, pay your taxes. No questions here. We are all obliged to do our part including this one. Taxes provide necessary services that allow us to live our lives with comforts that the majority of the world’s population can barely imagine. If you are concerned about how the government will spend your money, put your mind at ease, you made an informed vote and your candidate will wisely allocate your money to serve your needs in the best possible fashion.

For the people:

The grandparents of Generation X have said that “things need to change; the state of our nation is not what it once was, or what it has the potential to be.” The parents of Generation X have grown up in this world, and they have repeated the words of their mothers and fathers. Now, Generation X is hurtling through adulthood, buying houses, developing careers, and genuinely pursuing happiness. They too repeat the words of the generations before them. Besides this feeling of unease, these generations share another common misconception. They believe that our nation’s state of affairs is entirely generated by our government and big business, and that the people of this nation are powerless to make any significant change. These ideas could not be further from the truth, if anyone had the power and ability to make the necessary changes that our nation needs, it would be the people. After at least three generations of people noticing the need for change, don’t you think it is time to make it happen?

These needed changes must first come from the home. If we expect any changes to happen outside of our house we must first breed them within our walls and in our families. Then, like a pebble cast into the lake, these ideals will spread through our towns, and propagate through our states. Then the government officials and big business leaders will be left with one of two options, either listening to the demands of the people, or ideally, they too have changed and will act in the same accord as the rest of the people.

To get there we must realize our potential. We must be better than our current selves in every way possible. Every way, whether it is through flossing our teeth or recycling or starting a neighborhood watch, no task is too small or large to improve. Then we must teach our children to be respectful and to respect themselves and their abilities. It is essential that we demonstrate proper values and show them the difference between right and wrong, and that they understand the importance of  helping others as often as possible (these lessons need to be taught at home, this is not a task for school teachers, they are there to educate on verse not vice). We must work together to improve our homes, our neighbor’s homes, as well as the towns we live in. The responsibility of a village does not only lie in raising a child, but also in caring for the village, its people and its future.

In closing, the United States of America is a beautiful land, with amber fields, purple mountains, and gorgeous waterways. As a land it has many astounding resources, however, these are not the elements that make America so great, her true greatness comes from her people. The ideal defining characteristics are of calloused hands, kind hearts and a desire for a better future.

This ideal no longer fits, some now may even claim us to be idle handed, afraid of our shadows, and self-centered. We must remember who we are, we must have pride in ourselves and in what we do, and we must no longer fear the world around us. To do this we must realize that there are no shortcuts.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Michael Opuszynski

Beacon Falls