Society's Needs

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Society's Needs In Mexico there's a large range of life styles with very marked differences between them. Five percent of Mexico's population holds eighty percent of the country's wealth. Ten percent of the population lies in the middle class and the rest live in poverty or even extreme poverty. The high class mostly lives in mayor cities around the country in expensive houses or estates, which could cause envy in any part of the world. The middle class lives in the city's suburbs in moderate households. The poor percentage of the population lives on the outskirts of mayor cities, in small government houses all colored equally, which lack most utility services. But actually living in government housing is much better than what the majority of the population in extreme poverty living out in the rural areas. Cardboard houses without running water, electricity or other utilities, are built every day after being destroyed by the smallest storms.

Most of these people don't pay taxes, which make the government care less of them as time flows. These communities, mostly of Indian backgrounds, lack growth and technological advances because of religious believes and continuing traditions. Because of their lack of organization and modernization they suffer from killings without trials, sacrifices and military abuse. They live in such poverty, that political parties buy their votes with only a box of food per family. Newborns are sold to drug lords or sent to working fields for small amounts of money. Most people believe that old style rural communities no longer exist, but in many parts of the world these communities get worse every day.

Shirley Jackson describes a rural community in her short story "The Lottery," which exemplifies how tradition can negatively affect living standards. The story takes place in a small rural town in the U.S. when small settlements where starting to grow. Town members unite to follow their most important tradition, which consists of a yearly lottery that decides which member of the community, including women and kids, is to be stoned to death in the town square. Jackson's short story, being mostly fictional, clarifies that traditions are not always necessarily good. Amitai Etzioni, in his essay "The New Community," describes three types of communities with the purpose of changing the reader's point of view on lifestyles. He shows, through his comparison, how rural communities' poses unity, which is a key point towards a better way of life, but lack growth because of strict traditions. Etzioni explains how rural communities, lacking advances and opportunities, have survived the competition with large companies through unity. Giving job opportunities only to their community members, excluding outsiders out of any opportunity inside the community. Technological advances, vast information resources, job opportunities, better living standards, varieties of entertainment and higher educational systems are some of the vast privileges all urban societies achieved when unnecessary traditions disappeared. The author then describes how the lack of unity has created a mayor problem in these societies. With the growing competition standards, people think only of themselves. Help is hardly found from another society member in large cities. Door to door neighbors rarely speak to each other. Elderly people lack help needed from others to overcome their disabilities. Etzioni believes that a mixture of both urban and rural societies is needed to create an "equilibrium," which would help reach better standards of living for most societies. Although sometimes necessary to maintain unity, comparing Jackson's and Etzioni's descriptions of rural communities show how traditions can be contradictive to their real meaning and may end up being dangerous.

Most rural communities rely on a strict unified process of production and tradition to maintain stability. In Jackson's short story townspeople unify in a very old tradition to maintain the wellness of their crops in the coming year. They follow a tradition in which a human soul is sacrificed to maintain the happiness of the entire town. Town member's stone, a mother of three, to death elected by a lottery process. Etzioni's rural definition set in modern times also shows the need of traditions and unity. He describes how families send their grown sons off to work in other communities only if they live with close friends of their community. How any outsider of the community is denied work or help. Families keep close ties by arranging marriages only with other community members. Even though Etzioni believes unity and tradition is vital to a rural community, he finds them insufficient when compared to the luxury of living in an urban society.

People believe traditions are always good only because they know their ancestors created them as well with other creations that make life better now. Jackson had to use a very harsh and direct story not only to prove that traditions are not always necessary, but also to show that change is needed. With this in mind, Etzioni's rural definition of insufficiency is seconded, but his urban definition is questioned. Urban societies might have the urgent need of unity, but according to Jackson, both sides of the coin should be analyzed when talking about traditions. Urban societies have enough bad traditions as they are. Gambling, smuggling and drug trafficking are a few of the hundreds of traditions that might have started out with a low impact on urban societies, but kept getting worse as time went by. With the use of specific details, Jackson shows how tradition can become dangerous. In the story, the head of the town first explains that the black box, which is falling to pieces, used to hold the lottery tickets has not been changed because tradition had to be followed. This is the first example of danger since some tickets might be lost, creating an unfair pole, leading to revolt. The second example is shown when town members protest that the lottery had to be annulled, since neighbor communities had stopped the tradition bringing no consequences in their crops. When growing and maturing, changes are extremely necessary and unnecessary traditions have to disappear.

How will the world conclude? Will human waste still be disposed without recycling because of old habits? Will individuals still need more than one car because of family traditions? Many questions arrive to ones mind when thinking about the future. We can only be certain of one thing, we are going in the wrong direction. There are scientific studies, stories, facts, magazine articles and many more proofs that try to guide us in the right direction. We believe everything has a cure, since up to know our survival has been successful. All the useful information given to us is being ignored because we only think of ourselves at this point. It becomes apparent that our main problem is ourselves. To create a better way of living for ourselves the only solution is to start thinking in our neighbors and the rest of the world population; only then will we start receiving help from others. We have only one world to live in, and only one world to save. To begin a positive change we have to realize we are all equal. To end this primary problem we have to put aside all social standing, racial and ethnical non-sense traditions have created.