Wednesday, June 18, 2008

America's Challenge to Change

The other day while watching the morning news, it was reported that there would be an increase in the costs of electricity to the consumer. Virgina had already increased its utility rate by 30%. I mentioned to my husband with the rising costs of living in America, I thought that there would be drastice sociological change. Then, I pondered more....

What does this mean to America in general? We have already experienced rising gas prices, and its "domino effects". From the rising cost of food, the personal risk to the trucker, to challeging budgets of local communities, the costs don't just affect our pocketbooks, but society at large. What are those larger effects, that we so often "miss"?

Americans are used to instant gratification. We, by and large, can get anything we desire and usually, by means of credit. This lifestyle has not produced a country who thinks or cares about the larger affects of consumerism on society, much less about the concerns of other countries. But, in our interconnected global economy, we must stop to consider how what we do "at home" affects larger concerns.

The "market" has driven ethics and justified behavior that is detrimental to "others". Although the "market" "works" in producing an ability to consume, is consumption what life is to "be about"? Maybe the costs of gas and electicity will lead America to question its ultimate values and begin a "revival" of value clarification, so that we, Americans can look beyond our own horizons and "see" others whose values may bring moderation and balance to our own.

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