Some days it’s hard to be optimistic and positive about the future. Current events around the world, wrangling political parties warning us the other side will drive us into Armageddon, the unemployment rate, fuel prices and the general mood of folks lately is anything but uplifting. I’ve heard some people say the mood is downright mean-spirited and that people seem to be self consumed.
Some blame it on the talking heads; others blame it on the political system, TV programming, the media, or the internet. In reality there is plenty of blame to go around, but most of us need look no further than the mirror. We’ve all played a role in the arrival of the dark clouds hanging over our heads these days. The liberty and freedoms we so thankfully enjoy don’t create happiness by themselves, they only set the stage.
Like a big jigsaw puzzle, one piece can have an overwhelming influence over the other pieces or it can just fall into place with all of the others. Sometimes the solution to the puzzle is right in front of us, we just have to look. Other times, the solution can be lost in the sheer number of pieces surrounding it.
Look no further than the recent events in the Middle East. After years of totalitarian rule, where every move of the people was controlled by a stiff-handed dictator, years of pent-up anger and a desire to test the limits of this newfound freedom are being released. The population there is finding they are as frustrated now as they were before they overthrew the former government. How much do you think their lives would improve if they brought about death to America, as they so often chant during their protests? On the other hand, how much have our lives or the world changed since the deaths of Osama Bin Laden, Sadim Hussein or Moammar Gadhafi? Those three men were killers and treated the people of their nations horribly, but their deaths alone have not brought about instant gratification to their nations, nor have their deaths altered people’s attitudes toward America. They were once influential pieces to the puzzle, but they were never the complete picture.
Dan Alexander is publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.