Getting More And More Spoiled

In my last last post about a former North Korean prisoner, I talked about how it was maybe not that bad if everybody were to experience what he went through. Today, I will go deeper.

There’s a very big irony that I find in dreams, such as the American dream. In the stereotypical American Dream, a poor person hopes to settle in America, find a job, bring his poor family over, and establish great prosperity for later generations. However, it takes years of hard work, pain, prejudice, and suffering for this poor person to achieve his goal. He hopes that in the end, it will pay off not for himself, but for future descendants.

Yet, the irony is here: usually it will not pay off. In fact, although it will make his descendants physically and emotionally more well off, it will morally deteriorate the future generations. Why? Because as these descendants are living the high life and enjoying the success of their forebears, they do not understand the hard work that got them this high life. Rather, they take it for granted, and thus become more taking and more unappreciative and more wasteful and more spoiled.

Perhaps we can put this in a larger scale, say the country of the USA. Before America was ever established, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and all those rights were unheard of. To many people around the world, that was like being able to go to heaven guaranteed. When America was founded and the Constitution created, for the first time such things existed. The first American colonists didn’t take this for granted. They cheered for it, and they were content with it.

Another Example of  Past American Spoiledness

Yet, we then began to see a shift in attitude as those former colonists died off and their descendants lived on. First, we begin to see discontent with the government. People begin demanding for more rights, more change, when they should already be happy with what millions of people didn’t (and still don’t) have. We also see these descendants becoming more spoiled and more morally corrupt. For instance, when the first immigrants came through Ellis Island, these American descendants started prejudicing against them, thinking they were taking away jobs. What happened to them remembering about free rights for everybody? About how their forebears were just like those immigrants seeking for a new life in America?

Obviously, the problem shows: these descendants took these rights for granted, and thus became more un-content and more morally degraded. The former colonists didn’t, because they had been through the suffering and realized how lucky they were to even receive these constitutional rights. The posterity didn’t go through the suffering and thus were unhappy on not receiving more.

One can apply this to my generation- teenagers today, in America. I do admit that we are taking things for granted every time. That we are lazy, corrupt, and don’t realize suffering around the world unless it’s in our faces. For example, I don’t like eating most vegetables. That just shows that I’m taking my privilege to eat any kind of food I want for granted, because many children out there in the world don’t have my luxury and in fact don’t have any food at all. However, I am so spoiled to the extent that I don’t see this food pickiness as a luxury. Obviously, I have just shown my spoiledness. And why is this? Because I haven’t been through the suffering that my mother, grandmother, and ancestors went to allow me to have this kind of luxury. (In fact, my mother was homeless before for most of her childhood.)

Simply the solution is that everybody should have to suffer at least once in their life. Not the easy kind of suffering, such as mourning for a dead relative, but rather, the suffering of a starving kid in Africa, the suffering of living in nature by yourself, the suffering of that former North Korean prisoner. If everybody were to go through this and follow it, we all would be more appreciative of everything around us.

When was the last time while you ate your wonderful food that you ever thought about them? I bet you never did; therefore I have proven your indifference to suffering unless it’s in front of your face and your spoiledness.

Unfortunately, we are also spoiled to the extent that we are not willing to take up this challenge. Therefore, my forecast: the human generation will become more spoiled and spoiled as life for everybody gets better and better (due to technology and science) and thus everybody gets more greedy and greedy and thus we will use up all the resources of the Earth without taking any thought of conserving it and of the hard work of previous generations. (And please, don’t give me that eco-friendly sh-t, because we will still be using up resources, either way.) Once all the resources are gone, then the human race would have realized that they took things for granted too much. But it’s too late, and so end of the world.

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2 thoughts on “Getting More And More Spoiled

  1. I totally agree! You’ve put into text the very essence of my thoughts– the impending doom, the necessity of suffering, and human apathy. We insatiable humans live in so much luxury, storing food in our fridges, amassing mounds of clothes, and ignoring those who have so little and instead complaining that we don’t have enough. We are killing the universe, violating the green contract and wanting to fill our endless pits, so ignorant of the bigger picture. One day, we might realize the impending doom and try to reverse it, when in truth it is irreversible. If only our eyelids would flutter open and see the wastelands, the starving children who yet are so much happier than we are, and finally understand what monsters we’ve become. Conformity says, “It’s not enough.” That is because we cannot know true bliss without knowing true grief. There is no set point of happiness and unhappiness– it is simply a comparison of two states, as Alexandre Dumas states in The Count of Monte Cristo. Our standards of living are raising, and with it the unfulfillment in our bottomless hearts.

    -VK
    P.S. ^.^ i’m in high school too

  2. The happiness is a matter of ignorance. What people really need is not to be subjected to immense cruelty – that’s inhumane, and the people in the North Korean concentration camps would be aghast to hear you say that – but to be exposed to the consequences of their actions.

    There’s actually a lot of things going on right now in America that should shatter the illusion of “success”. The largest problem is the direct impact of the state of the environment on human economics and health. The USA’s agricultural system is facing dire threats from frequent droughts and crop prices are expected to surge; there are still toxins particularly in low-income neighborhoods such as lead in paints (banned, but unregulated) that impair the development of children’s neural networks and lead to increased rates of autism; around the world people are experiencing conflicts over water (procurement of fresh water, and emigration to other nations because of rising sea levels). Soon, a deficit in rare earth metals will change the outlook of our tech industry, and richest companies (or “corporate nations”) will gain monopolies. And history has shown that where there are monopolies, atrocities such as gang warfare and prostitution will follow.

    Socially, America still needs to progress – racism and sexism is as prevalent as ever. It’s an absolute mess. These obstacles in how people treat each other ultimately impair relations in companies, industries and organizations that would otherwise come up with solutions to the crises that we face.

    The problem is, these people seem to go about complacently in their daily routines because they cease to see who they are in these intricate systems. They forget that computers are exported to “recycling” centers that are no more than people in developing countries cracking the shell open with a hammer, unprotected, exposing themselves to toxins. They do not see that the oil is an illusion, that their fresh water is running out. Each bottle of water bought at the store is a convenience, only because they forget that city-filtered water is cheaper by the millions (if you don’t believe me, watch “The Story of Bottled Water”) and that the piles of plastic generated become combusted or released into the ocean, becoming a problem that will be dealt “later”.

    The mentality of “later” and “far away” from here proves the adage “out of sight, out of mind.” That’s the beauty of good education, which I believe should foster a thirst for a person to attend to their mind-garden carefully, to prize what they should know and filter out the extraneous, needless information. To prevent ubiquitous assimilation, to question what you’re told. Ultimately an education allows you to see where you fit in all of this. (In my personal opinion, the best education is reading widely to foster that curiosity).

    But no, please don’t say that you want to be cruel to people, that people should suffer like the people in North Korea. That’s “prescribing” an inhumane treatment of people – they might be idiots, but they’re still people. They’re still siblings, fathers, daughters. It doesn’t take a lot to be appreciative of the things around us.

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