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Why Patience is a Virtue When Securing National Prosperity

It is a long standing theory that patience is a virtue, but it is also one which is not readily available in our contemporary culture. As technological advancement has improved the speed and ease with which everyday tasks can be performed, so too an entire generation has become accustomed to being achieving instant gratification and satisfaction. This impatience and demand for swift resolution has influenced our feelings concerning less relevant aspects of our lives, such as relationships, career advancement and also the governments approach to social issues.

Subsequently we live in an age where we expect to see any issue resolved both swiftly and efficiently, regardless of its complexity or significance. Whether we address social problems such as obesity or look to improve the level of diversity within a range of professional or academic fields, society is fairly impatient with regards to the amount of time it is prepared to afford those who seek to effect change and improvement. This not only does a disservice to a nations problem solvers, but also serves to increase social tension and discontentment.

The Current US and Desires for Growth

The current economic and social circumstances that afflict the US undoubtedly need resolving, but these changes must be effected gradually and with a view to long term prosperity. While it is healthy for a nations citizens to desire both local and national growth and advancement, these feelings cannot be allowed to manifest themselves in short term solutions and an over eagerness to ensure a speed rather than a quality of resolution. For any social change to reap benefits, it must be implemented and cultivated over a significant period of time.

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Alcoholism in the Contemporary Age

Alcoholism is something that carries both a national and global concern, and is seemingly becoming prevalent across a younger social demographic. Both the US and UK have had specific incidents recently which have raised concerns about both the attitudes towards drinking and each notions methodology for regulating the consumption of alcohol amongst their citizens. This week was especially prominent, as the US along saw an infant aged 4 treated for alcohol ingestion, while up to 17 states are currently canvasing drinks producers Pabst Brewing Co. to refrain from marketing their beverages to a youthful market.

While the former incident occurred in Chicago and was the latest in a spate of nationwide incidents where children have consumed alcohol in public restaurants, the latter responds to a brand new drink promoted by rapper Snoop Dog. A malt based beverage called Blast, it comes in a variety of vibrant fruit flavors while boasting packaging and marketing material that is suited to a younger audience, yet it actually contains an exceptionally potent 12 percent of alcohol and is stronger than a typical can of beer.

A Lack of Responsible Awareness

The issue of alcohol consumption is not just a problem in the US, and recent events in the UK saw an 8 year old commence treatment for alcoholism after growing up in a family of negligent elders who were heavy and irresponsible drinkers. This may be the formation of a troubling global trend in terms of the social attitudes towards drinking, whereby it may become something entirely anti-social amongst teenagers and young adults. This manifests itself in alternative social issues, such as violent crime and health afflictions.

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Taking Charge of Social Conduct Part 2

If we accept that the US government do not do enough to change their laws to combat social conduct, then it is important to understand a corporeal example of this. Perhaps one of the most relevant is the rise of cyber bullying, which sees young and vulnerable individuals threatened and abused by anonymous offenders. It has come to prominence in the wake of increased technological advancement and the unlimited access that individuals have to it, and has afforded bullies the opportunity to operate remotely and beneath the guise of anonymity.

A recent case in North Andover has exemplified this perfectly. A young girl who had both suffered from and beaten cancer before the age of 11, she began to receive texts and emails which threatened both her mental and physical well being. After missing a period of school and finding herself cowed by fear, she eventually discussed the situation with her parents and dismissed their fears that she was once more unwell. After reporting the details to the police, an investigation revealed that the perpetrator was one of the victims closest friends, who had used technology to disguise her contact details to harass and intimidate her.

A New Threat to Personal Security

This is a prime example of a relatively new but significant threat to individual safety and well being, and one that has no accepted precedent as a consequence. In this particular case, the perpetrator received a course of counselling and a set amount of community service, although this has been dismissed by the parents of the victim as inadequate and derisory. Regardless, a clear and stringent consequence for those found guilty of cyber bullying must be implemented, both to protect potential victims and act as a deterrent to those who look to perpetrate it.

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Obesity as a Worldwide Epidemic

If there were any proof needed to support the current epidemic of obesity that is sweeping the globe, then it can be found through a recent case reported in China. A four year old boy, who weighs a staggering 136 pounds, has been offered free and potentially life saving treatment by a clinic in Hong Kong, with a view to preventing any long term health issues in his future. Doctors have stepped in after the case was brought to national attention through the media, and have ran an extensive number of tests to determine the existence of any underlying causes for the child’s condition.

Despite conducting an investigation that was both labored and considered, doctors have found no medical condition that could have acted as the trigger to the child’s obesity. While this is good news in terms of the child’s long term potential for recovery, it places the responsibility for his state of being firmly at the door of his parents, who allowed him to gradually eat his way into obesity. Yet there appears to be a reluctance to scrutinize his parents conduct throughout the affair, despite the fact that their behavior has put the health and well being of a young child at risk.

The Worldwide Growth of Obesity

The issue of obesity is a global one, and it is becoming increasingly prominent in numerous cities worldwide. It is estimated that obesity has risen to as high as 20 percent in some Chinese cities, as well as continuing to increase in other advanced and educated countries such as the US, UK and France. Its rise is worrying in the extreme, and if this trend continues it may well challenge tobacco as the single largest threat to individual health for the next generation.

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The Right to Vote and US Citizens

The right to vote is a freedom afforded by democratic rule, and has seen many civil conflicts fought to establish or maintain its integrity. While different social demographics have historically been denied this right on the grounds of race or sex at some time or another, the contemporary idea of democracy is inclusive of all individual factions and their belief systems, and seeks to discriminate against no single group or social circumstance. However, if we accept that the idea of voting is a privilege afforded by democracy, then there is an argument to ensure that citizens have earned and appreciate this right.

Balancing Democracy With the Well Being of the Country

While it is undoubtedly undemocratic and abhorrent to discriminate against voters on the generic grounds of race or sex, this is because it degenerates a specific social group without genuine purpose or foundation. However, this does not necessarily mean that every individual should automatically be afforded the right to vote, especially where they have chosen to segregate themselves from general society or hold divisive views that oppose the principles of democratic rule.

A similar logic applies to those who have a minimal interest in or knowledge of politics, who although retain the right not to vote are often pressurized by social expectation to do so. In this instance, individuals may vote without a broad or appreciable understanding of the prevalent social issues, which means that their input is misdirected and that the chosen government of the US may not be a reflection of their true support. Put simply, the drive to ensure that citizens vote could prove to be detrimental to the integrity of the final result.

Any of these circumstances can deter the course of democracy, and create a situation where the elected government regime is either unrepresentative or reflects the interests of those opposed to democracy. What the US and other democratic nations therefore need to assess is whether allowing everyone the right to vote is in the interests of society as a whole, and whether creating stipulations for eligibility could ever be enforced in a liberal rule. What must be elevated above all else is the integrity of the election process, and the importance of selecting a desired government.

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Can Democracy Function Amidst Civil Unrest?

When you assess the current circumstances of the US, then you can see a nation that experiencing serious civil unrest, and becoming frayed and battle weary at the seams of its social fabric. As it continues to tackle domestic economical and social issues, in addition to continuing to play a significant mediation role in the affairs of the Middle East, there are growing concerns as to whether its current model of government is equipped to handle such demands.

Undoubtedly, the US has one of the most liberal and diverse set of principles of any global nation, and as a democratic power its core value is the notion of government for the people by the people. While this itself is an aspect of US rule that should not be questioned, it is becoming increasingly strained as individual demands can often not be met by the economic or corporeal resources of the country. Whether it is working pay and conditions, reducing unemployment or tackling violent crime and morality, the needs of the people may be beginning to outweigh the current capacity of the government.

The Needs of the Individual against the Needs of Society

Before we understand this, it is important to note that democracy is the only true and fair way to govern society, and its principles should form the bedrock of any progressive nation. However, as it essentially grants personal freedom and liberty to individual citizens, this allows them to form independent thought processes and opinions and create demand and a certain expectation of living. As these are unique to each person, and developed in the name of personal interests, they can prove to be difficult to satisfy while maintaining the overall needs of society as a whole.

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