A year ago10 of my best friends were either out of work, or working at jobs that were paying considerably less than what they made four years ago. Some of them  had been out of work for up to three years. In the past 5 months, 8 of them have landed new positions. They are still making less than they were a few years ago, but without exception, they are all making more than they were a few months ago. I am so happy for all of them.

As part of social-cindy, I do social media work for a couple of local charities, and I wrote  a post about  two men from the Laguna Relief and Resource Center who have  landed new positions in the last few days. Proof positive to me that things are beginning to pick up!!

I often spend time on the Internet, doing research, and looking for relevant material as ideas for the posts I do. Too often, the articles I read are  about how America is heading into a downward spiral.  They say the country we grew up is no longer what it was. I must tell you I do not entirely agree with that sentiment. This is my blog, so I am going to tell you what I do  believe. If you don’t think you will like what I have to say, now would be a good time to close me down!!

I believe in America, I believe in the people of America. I even believe in some of the politicians who are in office in America. I believe we can be whatever we want to be. In America, we have huge natural resources . We have the ability to rise up from poverty and achieve success. For the most part, we are a nation of people who come together from different cultures and intermarry. The weaknesses and genetic defects of one culture can be offset by the strengths of another. When we fail, we cry for a while, and some of us will get up, dust ourselves off and figure out what to do next.

You can see us do that time after time. When a town is destroyed by a natural  disaster, people from all over the country pour in to help rebuild it. There are TV shows about Undercover Millionaires who go and live in a community far from their lovely homes, learn where people go to get help, then give of their own time and money. We have TV shows where communities, big corporations and towns people come out to build a family a new home. Yes, things are changing. When movie stars design and build houses for the poor in New Orleans, and so many other examples. I don’t remember  movie stars I grew up with doing these kinds of things.

What is good about living in such a young country is that we are fluid, and less rigid in our customs than some of the older countries.  So many of my friends who can not find work are supplementing their income by consulting or starting their own businesses. Families who once dreamed of sending their children to Harvard are now sending them to Cal State, or Saddleback Community College. But they are still attending college.

There was one blog that said American children of this generation are being turned into drones. They are de-sensitised by drugs and by school. I say hogwash. Every day my home is filled with teenage boys ranging from 15 to 19. There are no conformist drones in the bunch. They are individuals, bright, compassionate, and very messy. They are curious, and they sometimes watch tv too much, but they learn, and they think. If these boys are our future, I am excited by that. I know way more about technology and software than many people my age, and they teach me something every single day.

My extended family is full of  children, both boys and girls. The girls love to  paint, write music, play the guitar and plant flowers.  The boys are also creative and both the boys and girls play sports. There is nothing conformist about any of them.  They are photographers, writers and artists and athletes. They know how to cook and take care of their siblings. They volunteer in their church groups. Their parents and granparents  hold jobs, have careers, and take care of their families. Having lost their previous source of income, each of them has changed careers.

The doomsayers are right about one thing, America has changed, and the change is painful, no doubt about it. Often times change is painful, and although this America going forward will be different from the America I grew up in, does it really mean it will be bad?

I think what comes about after we slog through all of this is a country of people less spoiled, more inclined to save, stronger and less worried about what they have. At least that is my vision. Whatever happens, I have learned if you live in doom and gloom, that is all you are ever going to get. If you live in optimism, and put some work behind your dreams, you may still get hit with some doom and gloom, but you have at least a 50/50 chance of good things happening.

I step down off my soap box now…see ya.

Cindy Fletcher