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RESPONSE TO MODERN DAY AMERICA AND THE DIMINISHING INDIVIDUAL

Mr. Peter J. Cooper writes about modern day America in an essay titled “Modern Day America and the Diminishing Individuals”. Mr. Cooper says Americans have changed since World War 2. People are out for themselves and only helping themselves. Mr. Cooper states that America is not as great as it once was. People are spending time on unimportant things like playing video games, and wasting time on the internet because we are trying to make ourselves feel important. According to Cooper, people are in a hurry everywhere they go and do. He states we have “road rage, rudeness, and lack of personal attention” (p. 70). Cooper says we have too much going on in our lives from smart phones to jobs. There is unwanted noise everywhere we go like phones ringing, computers on but not used. Our stress levels are going up because of all that is going on according to Cooper. Modern day Americans are filling their lives with things, complaints, and not caring about other people or things not related to them, says Cooper. Businesses providing services and selling products can charge whatever prices they want and they know the consumers will pay even if they cannot afford it. Businesses are out for your money and not you as a consumer. Cooper makes this very clear throughout the essay. Cooper talks about the Government on how they are out for themselves and not the America people.

I agree with Mr. Cooper that America is changing for the worse. Americans are trying to make themselves feel important by filling their lives with things. People need to stop filling themselves with things and start caring and thinking about how they can help someone, which they do not know or care for. A few good ideas to point out include people are filling their lives with material things, people are only looking out for their family and themselves, and a question you can ask yourself is how can I help someone that I do not know. By having more things than your neighbor does not make you better than them or more important.

People today are filling their lives with material things hoping that it will make them feel happy and important. People are trying so hard to be happy that they buy something that they think will make them happy. The problem is that the item does not keep them happy for very long. This is why we keep buying more things. When a new smart phone or electronic device comes out, we must have it. The thinking is we must get it before our friends do, so we can show it off to them. We do this and may not even realize it. People want acceptance by their friends and want be happy. We collect material things and hope these things will make us happy, but they do not for very long. Filling our lives with stuff is not the answer.

People that have too much stuff feel overwhelmed or consumed by their stuff. They are then forced to hire someone to help them with their problem. We have come up with a name for this problem and we label it as “Being a hoarder”. You collect so much stuff that you cannot live in your own home and it makes your home unsafe. I think we should be filling these voids with friends and family. We should be making new friends and talk with strangers throughout the week. Every person is unique and I enjoy talking to people and learn from their stories about life.

Instead, people want to have the biggest house, car, and truck in the neighborhood. Showing off to your friends and neighbors your new car or whatever it maybe is not the best way to grow your relationship. Bragging about yourself is not important to the person you are talking to. They want to hear important heart felt dealings you have overcome or are currently dealing with. If you look around most people are willing to try to help you if they can or if you will let them. People can be compassionate in times of need. I have experienced this myself when my Dad was out of work. Friends and family tried to help us any way they could. I was very impressed by them in that how much they cared about us. People overall will help in a time of need but when they are not they try to please themselves by purchasing products that they do not need or will use.

People are only looking out for their family and themselves. It is sad that people are like this now a days. They want to make as much money as they can for as little work they can get away with. Yes you are supposed to support your family by working and making money but you should do your best every day at your job no matter if you like it or not. If you do not like your job, you can find a new one. People seem to be getting lazier as the Baby Boomers are retiring. By finding a new job that you like you will want to do a better job because you enjoy doing it.

Sometimes though you cannot find the job, of your dreams or that, you like and you still need to do your best and put in one hundred percent. Another way to turn this around and help others in need is to donate your time or money to someone in need. Some people are unable to provide food for their family and this is when we should step in and help them. People are in need throughout the year, not just around the main holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. We should be helping as much as possible all year round. When holidays come like Christmas, from my experience everyone tries to outdo each other by everyone wants to give the best gifts. By doing this, they are putting themselves and their family in debt by not able to afford these gifts. It can take up to a year or more to pay back all the gifts they bought for others. The sad thing is the companies you buy these gifts from do not care about you only that you pay for what you bought. Therefore, you are in debt and the companies are making money hand over foot. Family’s may come together and support each other in time of need. They may even pay a bill or give the family member money. They may spend time with the family member in time of need by being there for their family is important but also you should be there for your friends.

We should also be there for people that we do not know as well. There are many ways of helping others even if you do not think so. I am saying it is possible to help someone you do not know even if they are hundreds even thousands of miles away from you. Just by supporting an organization, that provides food to others around the world counts. There are many different things that you can do, that will not cost you everything you own. So do not just look out for yourself and your family but also for others.

A question you can ask yourself is how can I help someone that I don’t know. Well there are many different ways to help people and your community. You can support you community by giving money to a local charity. You can donate your time with the food pantry by serving food, making the food, and even cleaning. Donating your material things that you are not using like toys, electronics, games, and more so, someone else can enjoy the items as you did when you first purchased them. A great way is to get involved in your community and help any way you can. By doing this you will meet new people and have less time to be bored and start buying new material things you do not need.

Lately people are saying they are bored and instead they can be helping the community and themselves by helping out at a food pantry, Salvation Army, or a local church. I donated time at the Belvidere Community Center where we served people that were less unfortunate by serving them a Thanksgiving Dinner. We have many people that volunteer serving food, cooking the food, cleaning, and more. Many people came, ate the Thanksgiving Dinner, and enjoyed themselves as we walked around and talked to them and their families. These people are just like us other than they cannot afford to put food on their tables. I think it is important that everyone do this a time or two. We will see what it is like not to be able to afford food for their family. Not every family is blessed to provide food for every meal or have new things. By donating money or food to your local community, this will help people in their situations. We need to give people the support and help they need as they go through hard times. Helping people does not have to be a challenging thing.

People need to stop filling themselves with material things and start caring and thinking about how they can help anyone, they do not know. People are filling their lives with material things, people are only looking out for their family and themselves, and a question you can ask yourself is how can I help someone that I don’t know. Americans are trying to make themselves feel important by filling their lives with material things. When we should be helping others and in return, we are, helping ourselves.

central_america | book_review


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