rooting hard

When I look at nations in respect to their economies I get the real sense that some nations win economically while others lose.  If you look through the world economic map, it graphically depicts what I am talking about.  If you look at the map through the lenses of the exploitations of colonialism, it may help you under stand why some nations are rich and others are poor.  To be clear there are many other reasons and this is just one way of looking at the map.  But when you look at the map you will begin to get a real sense that there is a predominant mentality behind the map.

I think that somewhere down the line we got to thinking that If we win then someone has to lose, and if someone loses, that gives us a better chance at winning.  That is true in sports and board games, but it isn’t necessary true in every day life.  In America especially our economy is based on competition.  While competition is a great thing there is still an element win lose in the business world.  I guess my point is that we are conditioned in our world, in our country and our society to desire for others to lose, so that we can win more.  Again I can understand this mentality in sports, but what happens when this mentality begins to infiltrate our every day lives?  If everyone wanted everyone else to lose, then no one would really win

I was listening to NPR the other day and the novelist Brad Meltzer was on talking about the letters that the Presidents of the United States leave to their successors.  The last line of a letter written to Bill Clinton from George Bush was, “Your success is now our countries success, I am rooting hard for you.” He knew that putting his efforts toward rooting for his successor would be best for the country.  The last thing the country needed was a bitter president causing trouble on his way out.  So he started rooting for the man who was previously his political enemy.

Who are you not rooting for now, that if you did would make a tremendous impact in your life?  What nations should our county begin rooting for rather than against?  What if your attitude changed and you made it your mission to cheer on the success for others; do you see the triumphs of others as a personal victory?  Do you have people who you actively root against?  Why?  Is it really working for you?

Changing the world starts with a change in mentality.  May you cheer on the success of others every day.  May you see the success of others as your own personal victory.


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mind the gap

***Note to my reading friends…This will be my only post in this area.  Please feel free to duke it out in the comments***

The problem of immigration control has been a hot button issue lately.  My Life Group ended up having a great conversation about it last night.  In other words I had a bit of a rant about it.  This is a rare post in that I rarely reveal how I feel about hot button political issues.  I expect that many will disagree and some will agree but here is how I propose America and Americans handled this issue.

First, lets be honest about the problem.  This is about a 90% US/Mexico relations issue.  We don’t see Russians trying to rebuild the land bridge to Alaska or Canadians trying to come and steel our hockey secrets.

Instead of sending National Guard troops to the boarder, maybe we should send diplomats who are willing to re-write some provisions in NAFTA.  One of the promises of NAFTA is that it would better the economy and raises the GDP of all countries involved.  However, there have been a few very clear benefactors of NAFTA.  The USA and Canada.  Mexico has lost.   Mexico has essentially become the cheap labor reserve for the United States. Your new Jetta, that Blackberry, your t-shirt were all produced in things called Free Trade Zones in Mexico and South America.  These are places where these products can be made outside the law of the particular country that they are in.  Which means: low pay, harsh conditions and long hours.

I have heard many people say that the real issue here is employers hiring undocumented workers.  I don’t know, why aren’t we asking, “why are these people willing to risk everything to cross our boarder?”  Employers that break the law should get prosecuted.  But this is not the end all to illegal immigration.

Let’s put this in a little bit different terms.  If you were rich and taken care of, bills are paid, no debt, college is paid for the kids and weddings are taken care of, you would be set right?  But what if you had a brother who lost his job, his house got foreclosed on and your brother turned to crime to feed his family, would it be in your benefit or detriment to help your brother out? I think very obviously it would benefit you to help your brother out.  If you help your brother then the family doesn’t learn that crime is a way to provide for your family.  The family sees that someone cares for them and is grateful.  Your relations become better, and you give your brother a better opportunity to get a job.

It seems like if this scenario was played out in an actual family there would be some dysfunction if the wealthier did not help out the one in need.

My point is that there is a mutual benefit to countries who enter agreements that are close to equal economic partners.

I’m not going to argue the pros and cons of NAFTA but it does seem like with the current illegal immigration issues that America is facing, something has failed.

We need to help close the financial gap between the US and Mexico.  The European Union does this whenever a new country is brought into the EU.  There is a theory that it is to the mutual benefit of both parties that there is not a huge financial gap between the countries.  I agree.


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