Saturday, June 6, 2015

The End of My Blog

Wow, what a year! Junior year is almost finished, and likewise my blog will be coming to an end. I had a great time in American Studies. I laughed, I thought, and I cried. I did.
Farewell, and thanks for reading my blog. I hope you enjoyed my philosophy.
And now for my all time favorite farewell-song:

We'll meet again,
Don't know where,don't know when,
But I know we'll meet again, some sunny day.
Keep smiling through,
Just like you always do,
Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds, far away.
So will you please say hello,
To the folks that I know,
Tell them I won't be long, (i wont be long)
They'll be happy to know that as you saw me go
I was singing this song.

We'll meet again...

Monday, June 1, 2015

An Antique American Value

This whole school year, I've been trying to capture American values through current events. Usually, I talk about economics, race, politics... etc. For my final blog, I'm going to talk about a genuine American value. I'm talking about selflessness, serving others without expecting a reward. That's classic, bona fide American. However, I think that as the 21st century moves on, America is moving further and further from this type of charitable "good Samaritan" behavior

The Bible's parable of The Good Samaritan also preaches the concept of selflessness.

I encountered the value of selflessness while reading the classic American novel, "The Great Gatsby". There was a moment in Gatsby (Fitzgerald page 83) when Nick Carraway, our observant narrator, was offered an opportunity to make a lot of money. The magnanimous Jay Gatsby had previously asked Nick for a favor, and he promptly offered Nick a stake in his business. Nick noticed that this offer was tactlessly for a "service to be rendered" and denied the offer. Nick knew that Gatbsy was trying to get even, to pay his debts so to speak. But, Nick wanted nothing to do with this. The fact that Nick did Gatsby a favor and did not want anything in return (except maybe a friendship) made me think that in the 1920's (during the writing of the book), selflessness was an American value.

To help someone else, to complete spontaneous and profitless good-deeds, is classically American. For example, helping an elderly woman walk across the street unmolested is a classic American idea. Similarly, paying for someone else's meal, picking up hitchhikers and donating to charities is also classically "American".  

But, in modern times, I think America does not display this value anymoreI think the increasing influence of materialism in the US has caused Americans to be a lot more selfish. I feel as though people in America are pursuing the "new" American Dream, which only values material wealth and upper class lifestyles. This new American Dream does not value service or volunteer work. It's all about making money.

I also think that because America has become more atheist, people might be losing religious morals that are crucial to America. The term "good Samaritan" actually originates in The Bible where Jesus tells a parable of a Samaritan that helps a Jew even though the two ethnic groups hate each other. A good Samaritan is someone who is helpful and charitable. Now that America is losing contact with religion, I think America has also lost some religious morals, like the concept of a good Samaritan.

What do you think, is the growing irrelevance of Religion in America causing Americans to lose moral values?