America should be a “dry” country: no whine allowed

Roxy Hammond

Roxy Hammond

I grew up in the land of the free and the home of the brave. The land of opportunity. The place to achieve the American dream. I grew up knowing that if I tried hard enough, I could be anything I wanted to be.

However, it appears as though I also grew up in the land of entitlement. A place where hard work is no longer accompanied by a sense of accomplishment, but instead a feeling of resentment. Instead of being excited for the opportunity for advancement, we whine, “Why do I have to do that?” We find ways to avoid work, we find ways to place blame and we find ways to avoid responsibility.

There are so many great opportunities we’re given, so many doors that are opened, and still we’re unwilling to put forth the effort to walk through them. We have forgotten what it’s like to actually have to work for something in our lives.

We have pathetically low voter turnout for a free democracy, yet we do nothing but complain about the politicians. Those who dare to dream are stifled by those who expect handouts. We complain daily about our illegal immigrants but never stop to ask them what they hope to achieve. Because chances are, they’re willing to work a heck of a lot harder than we give them credit for.

I interviewed a family from Bangladesh for a religion project a few weeks ago, and I was really taken with how much they loved living in America. The ongoing theme throughout the interview was how wonderful the opportunities in America really are. I was shocked. I hang out with a bunch of college hippies and have class with many capitalist-hating professors; so to hear someone who was appreciative of the opportunities they had here in our country was actually quite? refreshing.

They didn’t care that they had to get an advanced degree. They didn’t talk about how difficult it was to get through school or to be a minority in our little ‘red neck’ state. They talked about how wonderful people were and how grateful they were to have the opportunity to be here.

Funny, I went into that interview ticked off about how much work I had to do for that particular project. And I left realizing that in the scope of things, I need to be grateful that I have a college to attend and such interesting people to learn from.

Don’t get me wrong; I fall into that generation of entitlement as well. My parents pay for my cell phone bill and insurance, and my car was a graduation gift. Without them, I would never get by. And oftentimes, I seem to forget that.

I wish more people would take the time to appreciate hard work. And really, I wish more people would take time to appreciate the hard work of others. Other people’s accomplishments can so easily be criticized from our own comfy couch of lazy bitterness.

This is happening here at SDSU, with how much criticism Alex Brown and Chris Schaefer have gotten for being unchallenged for SA President and Vice President. Suddenly it became their fault that no one else was willing to step up to the plate. Does that make them undeserving of achievement? No! If you have a problem with something that you can change, then please, do not criticize that which you are too lazy to fix. Any of our names could have been on that ballot next to theirs, but we’ve found it much easier to complain than actually put forth the effort to fix our problem.

We are young, and intelligent, and loaded with opportunity. And I hope that we can get past our sense of entitlement and actually do something that will change the world for the better; using our own elbow grease and hard work.

Because someday, I want my children to live the American dream as well.

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