Americans May Have Some Backward Priorities
Everyday we choose our priorities. We choose what is important to us. What are we going to prioritize today? What is going to stir us up? Catch our attention? Make an impact?
Are we going to care about what’s happening in politics or the latest beef between whatever celebrity? Are we going to throw our money into our education or spend it on bigger and more damaging weapons? Should we focus solely on people who collect welfare and food stamps or help those that don’t but still struggle?
These are priorities America makes every day.
Some feel we focus on things that have no importance. Some go as far to say we have our priorities backward.
University of Central Florida graduate, An Nguyen, says the government can be backward. She feels the government does not put enough importance on the health and wellbeing of our citizens.
“I think they should be focusing more on the immediate health and wellbeing of their citizens. Rather than them just enforcing strict border safety laws or increasing our weapons,” she said.
She also feels these stricter border safety laws and the increase of our weapons did not make us safer.
University of South Florida graduate assistant, Angela Candela, says we are backward. “I think the most backward thing about America is its need for efficiency and productivity.”
“We are a product-based society. We ignore the quality that comes out of the process and focus mainly on quantity,” she said. “Some Americans seem to have their priorities set on having the most amount of whatever in the shortest amount of time. This is especially true when that ‘whatever’ is money. They miss out on life’s serendipity from this need to have exactly what they want, when they want it.”
Many people believe it is our obsession with celebrities that is backward.
Hillsborough Community College student, Cassandra Poer, says “America and the West, in general, has too much of an emphasis on celebrities instead of actual news.”
“I think it has come from a long-standing obsession with people believed to have high social status. I think people are envious of others they thought to have a high standing in society. Learning about those people makes them feel closer to that lifestyle. Even in the early 1900s, people were prone to watching the wealthy to gain some insight into that lifestyle.”
Everest University student, Hillary Batista, says the media is to blame. “The media is distracting us from what’s really happening in the world.”
“Each year there is a new trend or a new toy. A new person doing or saying something petty that gets recognition,” she said.
Clarissa Mercado says the most backward thing is our choices. “Specifically women’s choices on their own body.”
“Things such as abortion is a very heavy topic for most people in America. No one really wants to kill their own baby, but sometimes there are circumstances in which it has to happen for the sake of the mother — whether it be health problems or financial stability. But people don’t want to hear excuses,” she said. “They want the soon-to-be-mother to have it whether or not she can handle it. But really why is that anyone else’s problem but the mother? What she does doesn’t have an effect on anyone else but her, so why are people so keen on butting into something that isn’t their business? They care so much about an unborn baby, but once the baby is born and the mother can’t handle it, it no longer becomes anyone else’s business. They turn away from her. There are babies that are in orphanages or in the streets starving but no one cares to help them out. Maybe Americas should focus more on the people who need help at the moment than someone else’s choice on their body.”
University of Florida student, Brittany Dodge, says it is education we have backward.
“I think America has its priorities backward in regards to public [K-12] education. Education in the US is primarily textbook-based with minimal opportunities to apply the knowledge that students are supposed to be gaining. It seems as though most students are less focused on actually learning the material and more focused on doing what they need to do in order to get the grade that they need to pass. They temporarily memorize the information just so that they can pass their tests. Because students are tested on their ability to basically memorize the content in their textbooks, they have little to no applicable real-world experience once they graduate.”
She says the blame lies in basing teachers’ salaries on performance.
“I think it has to do with basing teacher salaries off of how students perform on statewide standardized tests. Obviously, teachers are going to want their students to perform well on these tests. They’ll tailor their class to focus on preparing their students for a standardized test rather than actually teaching real-world experience. Real-world experience wouldn’t be measured on a standardized test. Granted, I feel like there are some teachers out there who are passionate about the subject they teach. They may be more focused on making sure their students can learn and apply the material rather than just memorize and recite something for a test.”
Many people feel our obsession with beauty is backward.
University of South Florida student, Emily Mayfield, says we are obsessed with beauty.
“a lot of Americans do prioritize beauty over everything else that has to do with a person or an object. In a way, they choose aesthetic over quality when it comes to both objects and people. Like how they don’t want the “ugly” looking item, even though it could probably do three times as much as a “prettier” looking item. Or when someone chooses the more attractive but shallow person over the less attractive but complex person,” she said. “I think people should look beyond face value and aesthetic and focus on what’s more important. We should focus on what would be better for people and the environment not only now, but for those in the future as well. While the thing may look nicer and provide instant results, in the long run, it’ll only lead to more problems. It may take longer, but the results it provides may be more beneficial to all in the years to come.”
Whether we have our priorities backward or not is up for debate. While we can’t speak for everyone, many feel we do.