Monday, October 26, 2009

We have devolved into a nation of remote caring instead of caring about people

Sgt. Dave Matthews of the Orlando National Guard and Warrior Support told me that he often tells people to just put down the remote control. It's frustrating when he hears people talking about watching TV shows instead of really paying attention to what is going on. He's right.

We have devolved into a nation of remote caring instead of caring about people.

It's a lot easier to kick off your shoes at the end of the day facing your own problems and pick up a remote control to take you away from reality. Feeling too old perhaps for the cartoon channel, too late in the day to watch a soap, you may turn on a show like Criminal Minds. It's fascinating to watch FBI agents go after the bad guys and you don't have to pay the price for a movie ticket to add in a bit of a horror show. Yet it's doubtful you managed to read today's paper when FBI Agents saved 52 children from child sex rings. The reason is simple. The TV show is not real and you can go to bed tonight without having to be bothered by anything you saw. It's a safe bet that you are not really bothered by too much outside of your own life. It's just too painful to know what is really going on in the world. What you don't understand is that this attitude has become our biggest problem.

Maybe you found time to turn on the news and heard about this.

Obama: Americans killed in Afghan crash 'doing this nation proud'
October 26, 2009 5:50 p.m. EDT
Helicopter crash victims "gave their lives ... to protect ours," president says
Three DEA personnel are among victims
Seven U.S. service members and three U.S. civilians killed in one crash
Four other U.S. service members killed when two copters collided Monday

But the chances are you didn't know there were DEA Agents in Afghanistan in the first place. It is also a pretty safe bet you didn't hear about this at all,,,,

Gates: Wounded troops face too much bureaucracy
By Kimberly Hefling - The Associated PressPosted :
Monday Oct 26, 2009 14:32:05 EDT

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday that troops injured in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to face too many bureaucratic hurdles.

Paperwork alone for them can be “frustrating, adversarial, and unnecessarily complex,” Gates said.

Gates spoke at a mental health summit with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki. By appearing publicly together, they sought to reinforce their commitment to tackling veterans’ health issues and the stigma associated with seeking mental health care.

Earlier this year, they pledged with President Barack Obama to create a system that would make it easier for the Pentagon and VA to exchange information so there is less of a wait for veterans to get disability benefits.

The VA is struggling with a backlogged disability claims system with hundreds of thousands of claims that need to be processed.Among U.S. troops who have fought in the recent wars, Gates says brain injuries and mental health ailments are “widespread, entrenched and insidious.”

He noted that a RAND Corp. study last year estimated that there could be more than 600,000 service members with traumatic brain injuries or mental health issues.
read more here

You may have just thought that things were suddenly fine since that is what they told us a long time ago and then didn't feel the need to do anything. Maybe you felt there wasn't a need to support a charity out there trying to take care of the veterans that are not being taken care of? Maybe the neighbor down the street you attended a welcome home party for is not doing as well as you just assumed? Maybe, just maybe you never really got the message the TV shows you like should have gotten to sink into your mind?

See the shows are not just about shocking you or entertaining you. They show what people can do when they pay attention and care enough to do something about it. It's pretty doubtful you are not cheering the bad guys. Can you see how you can be one of the good guys by paying attention and doing something about it? These are real lives with real families and yes, they are the ones we count on everyday to be there and do what is asked of them. No one can snap their fingers and return them the same way they were when they left. You cared about them when they were away but find yourself too busy to care about them when they are back home and not as safe and sound as you would expect.

While there is an Army of volunteers out there in this nation trying to make a difference, the need has outnumbered the volunteers for far too long. We not only have the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans needing help, we have their families as well. We also have the older veterans needing help along with their families from too many years of neglect. As bad as Secretary Gates makes it sound, he's not talking about all the other veterans just as needing and deserving of help as the newer veteran are.

If the rest of us decided that we would give even one hour a month to help our veterans, we would finally live up to this:
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." - George Washington

This message is at the bottom of all of my emails because it touched the bottom of my heart a very long time ago. No truer words could be spoken about us deserving them.

Take time to really care instead of viewing pain and suffering with the remote control in your hands.

Give up one TV show to read Army Times.
Give up looking up the latest celebrity gossip and go to to find out what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan today.
Simple little things will go a long way besides just giving money. You could change your focus enough to actually change a life.

If you find something that upsets you, then write a letter to your congressman or make a phone call. Don't stop there. Call your family and friends and let them know.

If you get an email that is a lot of nonsense that does no one any good at all, send them a link to a story that they can actually do something about and obviously should care about.

Find a charity to support and send them a few dollars and get your friends to do the same.

Say a prayer for the families of fallen service men/women.

Do something real to make someone's life better. You may find it makes your life better as well. It's for sure you won't really gain much by watching a TV show when there is a whole real world out there needing you to pay attention and care.

1 comment:

  1. There are those,sadly,who do not care, or are too tired to care, because they are overwhelmed w/life to begin with. Many of us do care and pay attention, and help in whatever small way we can. Some of us begin to recognize, where this war is concerned, that no matter what we do, or say, the carnage will continue. The everyday man on the street is not the one who holds power to change this. It is Congress,the handmaidens of lobbyists, and the administration, which bends to the will of...what?
    There are many things we pay attention to. Follow Twitter and you would be surprised at what we share, what we learn, what we do. Just because it clicks, does not make it deaf and numb.

    Victoria Hudgins
    Mother/Writer/Journalist/World Citizen


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