Standing in the grocery store recently, I took a moment to closely read the labels on all the tinned seafood displayed in neat little rows: oysters, clams, crab, sardines. Every single one of them, a product of China. And every single one of them, a food source native to the US. Even in my health food store, dehydrated packaged apples (another product abundant in this country) come from China.
China is stocking American shelves with pet food to the clothing upon our backs to the food we eat, and we are placing these items in our carts and bringing them home to our families. We then turn around and shout for reform.
As our nation stands neck deep in health and financial turmoil, we now find ourselves literally feasting on a large piece of its demise. Goods have long since come from China, but our once sacred dinner table now seats an uninvited guest.
As the 2012 elections draw near, I cannot help but cringe at this gigantic disconnect between what we buy and what we value.
We want better health care, but do not value our health. We want cheaper fuel, but refuse the idea of public transport. We bicker about jobs, but will not spend more on American-Made. We spend heaps of our precious annual income on weight-loss efforts, but sneer at the prospect of buying local food due to its price tag.
Few would argue that the government is not a broken system. But few of us want to see the other driving force behind today's issues: Us. We. The people.
Our habits are kicking our ass.
Change may be as simple as resisting the urge to verbalize our frustrations at every turn, picking political fights within our respective communities, and instead putting our buck where our mouth is.
What would happen if we took the money we spend on reality TV and put it toward reality?
What if we down graded our smart phones for something more basic, and spent more on quality food?
What if the energy we spend arguing our political differences was spent on being patriotic?
What if we didn't buy what they put before us?
What if we broke the law and drank raw milk?
What if we say enough is enough?
What if we quit complaining and started doing?
What if we didn't wait around for change?
What if this country was American again?
What if we mobilized?
What would happen if we were to rise up and take back what was once ours?