Powerful Essays
People in America today seem to be only concerned with them. They are always looking out for number one. That is a saying that has been taught to us for years. Along with another popular precept: you can't please everyone all of the time. These are just a couple of examples of how Americans are taught to be selfish. Sure, mom and dad always teach generosity to their young children, but in this society, those lessons diminish with age. We learn that life isn't always fair and people don't always have to share if they don't want to. In this so-called free country, the rich get everything and the poor get nothing. This type of environment has caused a rat race among the people. He who has the most wins. In America it is for the most money, but there are many other people in the world who might disagree. What would they want the most of? you ask. Well, that depends on whom you ask.

When you take a trip half way around the world, the values are totally different. The Eastern religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, to name a few, practice very different beliefs. They are more centered on love thy neighbor than the Christian Religion. This is not to say that Christians are wrong or act wrongfully, it just says that the difference in beliefs generates a significant difference in society. Here in America, our society claims we should love thy neighbor, but it tends to depend on who the neighbor is. We want our neighbors to be just like us. If they are not, then it becomes more difficult to show compassion. The Eastern religions practice compassion for all people, no matter who or what they are. In America, compassion is scarce. It's predominant in families and in small towns, but in the larger cities, it is hard to see if it exists at all. A movie has been made illustrating this point. It is called "Falling Down". It is about a man who has come to the end of his rope. He is tired of the way society has treated him, and he begins to fight back. He thinks he is doing the right thing, but he finally comes to realize that to do the right thing you can't think only of yourself.

The movie opens with a traffic jam; the man's license plate reads: "D-Fens": This becomes his name since his real name is never told. It takes place in Los Angeles on a very hot day. This traffic jam is significant be...

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...ear. However, when Rand feels all the creativity is lost when you give up the self, I feel she was wrong. I don't think the Eastern Religions intended for that at all. They still feel you should be educated and express yourself just not with trivial knowledge that encourages you to think of yourself as better than others. I know that is the case with Taoism. I agree with this religion in certain areas. For instance, in the movie "Falling Down", D-fens definitely tried too hard for what he wanted and therefore he failed. But I feel there are things you do have to try your hardest for. If you want to succeed at school, for example, you have to work; you can't just sit back and hope nature's course gives you an A. I suppose that's where the eastern religions would come in and say that I must be wanting the wrong things. But I know that in this society, in this time, and in this life, I want to be happy. How that will be achieved, I'm still unsure. Some people require many possessions and money to be happy. Others believe happiness can only be achieved when possessions are given up. The world is very different in its beliefs. As I said before, it all depends on whom you ask.
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