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  • James von der Lieth

American Culture is Sick

Updated: Nov 14

These are things I've learned about American culture since leaving last July to travel the world and live closer to nature.

Of course, I need to prelude this post by recognizing that these are all just patterns I've noticed leaving and re-entering American society. Like all stereotypes, there are many individual Americans who defy them. There are also some redeeming parts about American culture, but here are the ones that I think are sickly.

We as a people....

Fill our bodies with unnatural foods that give us problems with hormones, impulsive moods, skin, diseases, and obesity. Even most of the "natural" foods have chemicals in them

Drink bottled water that pollutes the environment because our tap water is too polluted

Pollute our minds with a constant stream of toxic news, social media and trash TV

Binge drink alcohol, not to celebrate, but rather to numb out our emotions and problems; while simultaneously judging others for using natural substances from the earth to expand their minds

Go to schools that teach us how to regurgitate authoritative opinions, rather than learning how to critically think and solve problems for ourselves

Often value money more than helping others

Make our job title the biggest part of our identity

Have let the evangelical preachers flying in private jets, greasy "God-fearing" politicians and the Catholic Church's scandal make us Spiritually cynical

Have little understand of basic mathematical concepts - like how many millions are in a billion or how many billions are in a trillion. We can't tell you what the GDP, how much national debt we have or even how many people live in our country or the world.

Criticize with our words rather than by creating

Live in the past instead of moving towards the future

Are taught not to talk about our feelings

Project our trauma and negative emotions onto others rather than healing ourselves

Eat sick, caged, and unnaturally fed animals whose energy becomes our energy

Think make-up, plastic surgery, and photo editing will make us beautiful, when our real problem is our un-natural living is the cause of our natural beauty not shining through.

Prefer living in jam-packed polluted concrete jungles more than in nature

Value what brand our clothes we put ON our bodies came from more than we value where the food we put INTO our bodies came from

Say we care about the climate, but don't show it with our daily actions

Idolize political leaders and celebrities more than we idolize enlightened human beings like Jesus or Buddha

Are wasteful

Want quick fixes without effort or sacrifice

Perpetuate victim narratives that cause more harm than good

Claim to be inclusive and open-minded, but don't practice it when it comes to religion, politics, or sometimes even sports!

Are easily influenced and manipulated by the corporate marketing machine

Think people who have found God are "crazy"

Kill our testosterone with porn, video games, beer, added hormones in meat and junk food while simultaneously thinking these things make us more manly because of advertisements.

Listen to music, watch movies, and play video games that glorify drugs, violence and guns

Love highly marketed corporate businesses more than we love supporting locally owned businesses that have soul and character

Are more selfish and greedy than people from other parts of the world

Don't try to cure health problems by changing our lifestyle to solve the root cause; but rather we take medicine that usually just fights the symptoms of the root cause, giving us more even more health problems.

Don't take joy in our work

Look to the government for Hope and Change instead of taking responsibility for ourselves

Send our kids to public colleges to take out $10,000's in debt to study useless topics such as pseudo-sciences or general business degree when we could learn these things from the smartest people in the world for free on the internet.

Have "thoughts that are someone else's opinions, and passions that a quotation.” ― Oscar Wilde

Are very transactional and don't care to get to know the people who serve us

Are loud and arrogant

Don't live in the moment enough

Have no understanding of how the U.S dollar or Federal Reserve works

Have little perspective on history or global affairs

Work for companies that aren't making the world a better place, some even making the world a worse place

Have no clue how much of the rest of the world doesn't like the American government

Worship celebrities like Saints

Spend our time working as a soulless cog in a machine so we can buy materialistic goods that our celebrities tell us will make us happy

Think we are better than people from other countries

Define ourselves by consumption rather than creation

Value status symbols, virtue signaling, power and money more than actually helping people who can't afford basic food or health care

Aren't appreciative of the historic freedom and opportunities we do have

Don't spend enough time in nature

Are to quick to judge someone else who is different or thinks differently

Think it's a good idea to allow politicians to have the power to ban nature parks, churches, and gyms in the name of health

Are motivated not by a desire to express our true selfs, but rather by approval from our friends in the form of likes and comments

Allow our biased media sources to instill fear, hate and anger in our hearts and minds

Are addicted to Meth (adderall) , anti-depressants, and other Big Pharma inventions; yet we have outlawed natural plants that aren't addictive and have tremendous healing power.

Complain about the most inconsequential of things

Don't have enough gratitude

Arrogantly criticize the viewpoints and values of others without trying to understand them

Judge others for their mistakes and having the same human condition that we have

Hold grudges and don't easily forgive and let go

View everything as a competition

Don't honor, celebrate and recognize the natural and beautiful process of death

Don't take time off from making money to process and heal the trauma we've had in our lives

Can be violent and impulsive

Allow bosses to instill fear and anxiety in us. Then when we become bosses, we follow in their path.

Distract ourselves with reality TV, Netflix and Politics from the question of Faith and the Purpose of Life is

Find meaning in all the wrong ways

Fall victim to our darkest instincts of human nature, create tribalist groups and then spread hatred of the other "groups"

Don't question or criticize the cult leaders of our tribalist groups (like Trump, AOC, Pelosi, etc) when they are wrong, misinformed or spreading hate

...Have the power and freedom as individuals to change all of these things!

I will close with some wisdom from David Goggins from Veterans' Day.

I can’t thank each and every service member and Vet enough. While we have a long way to go in this Country, one thing is for sure- we are free!
We are free to eat what we want, be fat, be in shape, be lazy, or have great work ethic. We are free to go to college and learn as much as we can or say “fuck it” and not learn a damn thing. We are free to bitch that “nothing is fair” and “everything is going against me!”
We are also free to overcome all insurmountable odds that are against us. We are free to blame our moms and dads for our shortcomings in life. We are also free to thank our moms and dads just for giving us life because at the end of the day that is all we fucking need to succeed.
The freedom that we have in this country is a true gift. That said, it is also a curse because at the end of the day, if you become successful, it is because you put yourself there. If you find yourself unsuccessful, there is also a great chance that you, and you alone, put yourself there.
Like I said in the beginning, we have a lot to work on in this country but the freedom that the Vets and military personnel have provided us is something I don’t take for granted. But as I look around, I see a lot of wasted talent, missed opportunities, and untapped potential walking around. The platform is there for us to succeed. It’s up to us to grab that motherfucker and make it work to our advantage - David Goggins

I'm an entrepreneur, consultant for tech startups and VRM's, investor, STR owner, writer, and a digital nomad.

I blog about the lessons I'm learning on my journey to live a financially free 💸, healthy 🏃 and location independent life ✈️

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