Fall 2010: 3 trends that encourage me vs. 3 that worry me

What encourages me…

The rise of the rest

I love my country and always want the US to be the leader of the free world.  But I think its also okay that other countries like India, China, South Africa, & Brazil are emerging as global leaders too.  The more other nations prosper and develop, the more they have to lose when it comes to terrorism, trade, and technology.  This could lead to more cooperation and coordination between the US and other nations.  Some of the burden of being the only superpower might be lessened if there are others willing to help share the load.

More people are choosing adoption

I keep hearing and reading about stories of couples and families choosing to adopt.  Whether its international adoption or not, I can’t help but be encouraged by the idea of children without families being given the chance to be loved and cared for.  Some great friends of mine have adopted and some others are trying to adopt.  There isn’t anything wrong with couples having kids of their own but there is something to be said about couples also choosing to raise and be parents to kids who so desperately need it.

The Social Conscience of Craigslist

Whoever Craig is, his site was incredibly useful for buying/selling all kinds of stuff.  But it was also a pretty weird site for all kinds of other exchanges.  Normally companies and corporations chose to be silent about stuff like that and privately enjoy the profit made from sex trafficking.  But Craigslist began to have a little bit of a conscience and removed all of the adult personal ads on its site.  Its pretty refreshing to see a popular social networking site raise the level of morality on it’s network rather than the opposite.

What worries me…

Restoration over innovation

Most of what I hear in the news regarding the state of the country and especially the economy has to do with recovery and the plans by which US and world leaders want to restore the economy to the way it was before 08.  To some degree I can’t blame them.  Many are unemployed, many are making less, and many are worse off than 3 years ago.  But I wonder if maybe we’re focusing on the wrong goal.  How could future technology, innovations, and developments create new opportunities for jobs, wealth, and growth?  For example, the government spent LOTS of money to help save GM.  How much money has been spent on developing technology that would allow cars to be more fuel efficient or to run without oil?  I think there are opportunities here and I wonder if we’re missing them…

Saving the world = raising money/awareness

Maybe it really does work.  And I’m sure there are stories out there about people who raised money and raised awareness of an injustice or inequality.  But part of me wonders if it really works to long term make a dent in real life global problems.  How much of a real impact can someone with a website, a paypal account, and T-shirts to sell have on the global child sex trade industry?  I’m not trying to be cynical but I worry sometimes that the efforts of so many well meaning individuals does more to make Americans with an extra $15 to spend feel better than really end cycles of injustice and poverty.

Less variety in our politics

When a politician, or really anyone for that matter takes a stand or holds to a belief on a particular issue, we assume that they also have particular stands on other issues and we type-cast them.  I.E… if someone is for Universal Health Care, often times we (including me) assume they are also for everything else the current administration has proposed and passed, as well as it’s stance on foreign policy.  I just don’t think that’s always the case. The “red vs. blue” understanding of US politics is too simplistic and prevents real dialogue between people who probably have more in common than they might think.


About jonathanwren
My name is Jon. I like history, K-State, trying to be a good runner, and am a below-average skier.

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