Friday, October 12, 2012
Last Sunday’s newspaper was a goldmine of examples of America’s need for improvement in the key dimensions. Let me start with two articles that appeared on facing pages. They are unrelated by subject but very much related in terms of clearly demonstrating why the country is not progressing.
First I read that the “percentage of American adults who are 100 or more pounds over a healthy weight has skyrocketed since 2000” – clearly a discipline issue. The sub-headline read: “Researcher blames genetics, food abundance” – where’s the responsibility?
On the next page the headline read: “Report: 40% of food goes uneaten in US.” This waste can be attributed to perspective, not appreciating what we have, and to critical thinking, not planning well or looking for appropriate options. One solution offered: Americans should “become less averse to buying scarred or otherwise imperfect produce”…and should “save and eat leftovers.” The same story from another source quoted an expert as saying that we throw out some food because, “we have reached the point where appearance trumps taste with our food” – another example of valuing appearance over substance – showing problems with both critical thinking and perspective.
I made these easy observations before I read the article in the Business section about the increased use of obesity in advertising, because it has become so common that “the new generation doesn’t see (obese people) as different.”
The news a few pages earlier of 400 murders in Chicago already this year may have seemed more shocking to most readers, but this is a problem of poor behavior among a localized few. The behavioral examples I cite above are representative of the entire nation. I think that tens of millions slowly killing themselves by poor lifestyle choices and comparable millions wasting a quarter of their hard-earned grocery money by feeding the landfills are far more important issues and far easier to solve. We know exactly where the problems lie, and we know what to do about them.