On Linked-In, Barack Obama recently queried members how they think we should keep America competitive in the years ahead. Below is my answer:
America’s gotten fat and spoiled. You can’t say that as a person running for office, but its a hard statement to disagree with. All you have to do is look at two recent stories: there’s a fuel crisis and type-2 diabetes is at epidemic levels.
We consume a more disproportionate amount of energy than any other nation on earth. When we want something (which we do a lot) we want it now and we don’t care about the economics. We use a lot of energy to satiate that demand. We drive all over the place. We over-commit our time to leave our local community to make money or extend our influence outside of our local world. If we’d slow down and work in our local communities, we’d help ourselves a lot.
“Turn off that television, walk outside, and help people in your community” would be a great, simple phrase to activate people. Instead of doing that, most people rush through the fast-food drive-thru to come home and sit in front of the tv watching some news channel, fearing the gloom and doom they spout. We’ve become a bunch of spectators of life. Perhaps I’m not much better contributing this online, but don’t think I won’t be sharing these opinions with my family, co-workers, and neighbors as I go about my busy day.
If we want to be competitive internationally, we have to first be responsible domestically, and that starts in the home. It continues with the example we set for our kids in living responsible, compassionate lives.
What do you think?