"It's all about the money, ain’t it", was his question to me. I have always enjoyed my conversations with people that are not originally from this country. The question that Sha’ presented to me this time had me really thinking because it's not the first time in our conversations that he has posed it for discussion.
I reflect back to our conversations of him coming to this country at a very young age of eight years old. He already had become accustomed to his culture, and then drastically was presented to an unwelcoming environment of American schools. I could really understand why this question of money became a theme in his life. There is no doubt that America is losing its appeal through the dire disease of materialism fueled by selfishness and greed. When any country has been given the title of, “land of the rich and famous”, people have a tendency to want to experience that ideal.
Children are treated different in our schools by what they bring to the table, materially. There is no doubt about that, our children are suffering with the cut in school budgets, underpaid and overworked teachers, along with the pressures put on the principles to meet the numbers expected of them in testing. Everyone is rushed and pushed to provide success in the numbers for the politicians who are trying to prove that they are the ones who can get the job done at any cost to the children. The separating doesn't just start in the lunch rooms, it starts at home.
When we have the conversations with our children about what success is what do we say? Is success the college degree, the fight to get to the top of the best companies, the biggest house your money can buy, the name brand products and clothing in the interest of quality? What is quality? Does it define who I am? Who am I? Does my achievements to define who I am? At what cost must we win? Where are the boundaries? When does family values come first? Do they ever rank first? When do we say it's enough? At what cost, to of us as families, a community, a nation, yes even the world, are we willing to pay? Are these the values we want to cultivate within our children, should be the question.
Will the materialistic drive in this country destroy everything in the name of freedom? Going back to my friend's question; “isn't it all about the money?” This is a question I think is worth pondering individually as well as collectively. How far are we willing to go and what are we going to sacrifice within our families just for the money. To my friend I would like to say, yes, on the surface, if we're not careful and observant everything in our lives will be driven by the money. Let us all be mindful. We are not the first generation to be challenged and asked to step back, look at the bigger picture and make a choice that you want to live with. The choices that have been made by those that we have placed in power and our own decisions have brought us where we are today. Now we have to be accountable for what we bring on the next seven generations. I pray that I will pay attention to what I contribute to the whole. Hopefully others will do the same.
Money will always be an issue in our lives, which is the design of our economy; however, it is important that we drive the car, not the car driving us. It is time for true freedom in a country that prides itself on the word freedom. Are we prisoners within a society that calls itself free? Maybe that's another thought to ponder. Especially since our free society continues to build prisons rather than reconfigure its teachings. Tell our people, to free themselves from the shackles of this world is what I am screaming!
Submitted by: Brenda Williams/Sacredflower@ The Writers Cafe