Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Week Seventeen: Paradigm Shift

Sometimes, you experience a paradigm shift. For many people my age, they experience this on volunteer trip to poor people of world, whether they go to the Appalachian Mountains or to Africa or Asia. For me, I've experienced it here in Germany.

I've written before about how different Germany and America are. Sometimes it really hits you though, and it causes you to lash out as you fight against what you see. Sometimes it doesn't hit you at all, and you continue through life, not realizing how lucky you are to be an American. And not seeing what is slowly happening through a society that encourages laziness and encourages a lack of rebellion.

I've lived in a couple of different parts of America, and each time experienced a sense of culture shock. America is a vastly different country that has fifty very different parts and each of those fifty parts vary wildly in their regions.

But one thing that all fifty parts of the US have, that all fifty states hold in common is a basic, undeniable, right to be free. The right to not have every aspect of your life be regulated, to be able to change your career at the drop of a hat, to go to school for one major and come out with a totally different one.

In Germany, you choose your career when you enter into high school. When you are fourteen, you already make the choice as to what you want to be when you leave your parents home and go out into the world.

Are you what you thought you would be at fourteen? At fourteen, I wanted to be an English Major and be a writer. I still want to be a writer, but I'm majoring in engineering now. Well...both start with an 'e' but that's about the only similarity.

It frightens me that one day America may be so tightly regulated. Businesses claim that new college graduates do know what they need to know for work. Will laws be passed to 'change' this, to 'improve' educations by people who know nothing about the subject? I hope not, but isn't that how it always is? Between the many facets of their jobs, Congressmen and women don't have time to study the many issues they must legislate efficiently. They leave this to their workers, who may not go into it with a full understanding, and may only look at what the general public has to say.

Sadly, the general public has little to say, and only a few lone voice, the outliers, the extremists are heard. Like in a choir where one voice is louder than the rest, these voices demand to be heard, at the sacrifice of so many other voices.

When will the rest of the choir speak up, unified, to make their song be heard?

How can they be heard over these loud voices? And for many, would it be worth it in the end?

I can answer the last one, at least. Yes.

A resounding, earth shattering, mind blowing Yes!

Because even if nothing changes immediately, You Have Been Heard. And you may be surprised who else wants to be heard too.

One Final Byte: Germany is a beautiful country when you visit.

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