I am writing my thoughts a step at a time for two reasons. First to make sure I stay on point. Secondly so that I don’t lose me as my reader.
Living outside the US I can clearly see the cultural disease that manifests from within. Not all things are bad just the important ones. I have time to read, write and research. What a pleasure. I have to actively avoid giving my empty hours to others
The small slice of Americans who have expatriated and now live in Ecuador show all the signs of cognitive dissonance. They have made up their minds and then seek reasons to support it. The food is better here (it is), the people are friendlier(?), followed by a litany of rights and wrongs in the US. Despite their complaints, so many return to the US but not until they spin the dissonance.
Because they do not research, let alone understand, their thinking process, I can observe how they think. I see it as being better than looking through a microscope as I am in the solution itself. My observation is not hidden but my interpretations are. The expats imitate the governments control of free speech by shunning those who openly oppose their views.
The first thing I observed is that Americans like to fill their time with activity. When I taught psychology at the university level I came across an expanded version of Sigmund Freud’s defense mechanisms. The expanded version was by Anna Freud, his daughter. She divided the defense mechanisms into four categories from basic to advanced.
The most primitive being denial and the most advanced being altruism which included volunteering. That little chart remains in my memory. I now see what my mother meant when she said, “You will learn that volunteering comes in many forms, many are not as they seem.” Thanks mom, I see it.
The good intention in volunteering often masks its real purpose to/of the volunteer. I see a reward system to the recipients that can lead them to avoid their responsibility. For example, the need of love, touching, praise and education for an orphan or abandoned child is not disputed. However the bigger issue is the responsibility of the culture.
By giving the fish without teaching how to fish becomes the issue. How to address this problem through action and not spin remains the problem.