Excess and Excuses: Lest We Forget
by Miles Patrick Yohnke
It hurts me to write this story. But I must write it. I live in Canada which is seen as a rich country. The country to the south of us, the United States, also falls into this category. As a writer I've been blessed that my work has touched so many lives in so many corners of the world. I receive many letters. An enormous amount of them come from places where it isn't as good as we have it here. Yet these letters are filled with hope and optimism.
Terror and fear are daily occurrences in countries like India and PNG (Papua New Guinea) or in many numerous countries on the continent of Africa. Yet when I read the letters from people living in these and many more places, their passion is overwhelming. You also learn a great respect for their rich, individual heritages.
You look at Papua New Guinea and discover it has over 800 languages. Each province has more than 20 different languages. Not all of them have the same dialect. The only language that they all can speak and understand is called "Pidgin English."
800 languages means that they also have this number of different customs and traditions. All just loaded with culture and character.
North America is the richest of nations, yet, for the most part, our culture is one of excess and excuses.
Excess: We eat too much. We drink too much. We spend far too much.
Excuses: We point fingers. We blame others. We dwell in dysfunction.
We are rich with excess and excuses. For so many we have a hard time speaking one language. We have bigger houses and bigger broken homes.
Divorce is the norm. We have multiplied our possessions but reduced our values. We've learned how to make a living but not a life.
It's time that we stop our spoiled, self-centered ways. Time we look in the mirror at our fat selves. Weak with character, high with cholesterol.
* Time we wake up.
* Time we learn that life isn't about 'things'.
* Time that we use our rich resources for positive change.
* Time we give back.
* Help others.
* Time our lives are filled with purpose.
We often take for granted our Canadian and American values and institutions, our freedom to participate in cultural and political events, and our right to live under a government of our choice. The Canadians and Americans who went off to war in distant lands went in the belief that the values and beliefs enjoyed by us were being threatened. They truly believed that "Without freedom there can be no ensuring peace and without peace no enduring freedom."
We must remember what they fought for. If we do not, the sacrifice of those lives will be meaningless. They died for us. For their homes and families and friends. For a collection of traditions they cherished. And a future they believed in. They died for us.
They died for this?
We should be ashamed of ourselves.
Now this is something to tweet about. This is something to post on Facebook.
By Miles Patrick Yohnke
© 2010 All Rights Reserved.
(These images come from a CD design by Miles Patrick Yohnke intended to raise concerns of political, environmental, and world issues. To ask questions; to notice the questions that are unanswered; to stimulate your own personal thoughts about taking action.)
About the Author
Globally recognized and award-nominated engineer, producer, writer, poet and founder and C.E.O. of 5 Star Productions, Miles Patrick Yohnke brings many years of experience to the music industry; including many awards in sales and marketing. If you are looking at developing your career, Yohnke offers consulting in person, by phone or via email. For more info, please contact him directly at: 306.227.6379 or email at: miles(at)5-starproductions.com.