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- Jeannie Samson, President, Inc

  • Politics Aside...Why I Love This Country...And What That Should Mean

    11/4/2008 3:49:17 PM Link |  | Add comment

    America, Value

    Shed your political views for the moment.  Let go of them.  Just while you read this.  Whether you voted for one candidate or the other.  Doesn't matter.  Let go of that and let me tell you why I, an immigrant,  love this country.  More than that, let me tell you what makes this country great, what you might just take for granted.  For while America has flaws, I truly believe, beyond all the rhetoric, that it is the greatest country that ever has been.  Here's why.

    Freedom is not just a word.  It is not just a political idea.  It is a reality that we might be just too spoiled to realize.  Too spoiled to realize!  We have been given so much that we have no clear perspective on our own gifts.  We can worship as we please.  Understand in a very concrete way that you simply cannot do that in a good part of the world. You CANNOT WORSHIP AS YOU CHOOSE in a large number of places.  You can speak out against your own government.  You can vote without fear of being murdered for your choice, for simply showing up to the poll.  You will not be killed because of your race, chopped to death with a machete because of the tribe you were born into.  THAT IS A REALITY FOR SOME PEOPLE.  You will have never and will never fear starvation EVERY DAY.  EVERY DAY! That is a reality for a large number of people.  You will never be stoned to death for breaking a law.  You will never be told that you are allowed only one child.  That is a reality elsewhere.  And you know this.  We all know these things but we never or rarely actually think of them in terms of our own blessings.  Those are news events.  Those are things that happen, we know, but somewhere over there in the abstract world on the other side of our television or computer.  But those are people's day to day realities.  Every day.  Roving bands of soldier children killing rival tribesmen and women.  Oppressive governments dictating religion, children, activities.  Food shortages.  Water shortages.  Rampant political assassinations.  Drug lords with the power to order murders of politicians and law enforcement.  And on and on.  These, in varying degrees, are realities for a greater part of the world.  The world is a chaotic place.  You were born into a safety net.  I believe it is our responsibility  not  just to appreciate that safety net but to act accordingly.

    We are a nation of complainers.  We have been given so much that WE EXPECT HANDOUTS.  We expect everything to be easy.  We expect our government to take care of us.  I believe that our true responsibility  is to act like the Privileged  humans we are, to act with a sense of civil responsibility, to act with a humble pride.  To be thankful that we are blessed and to take advantage of those blessings.  You, as a citizen of this country, are born with the ability to paint your own picture, to design your own life.  Understand that, for the most part, that simply doesn't exist in the rest of the world.  You can be the son or daughter of an immigrant and become a millionaire.  It happens ALL THE TIME.  And yes, some people have a tougher road than others.  Some are born with a silver spoon in their mouth.  But in most of the world, only those born with a silver spoon will bear children with silver spoons.  No matter how rich or poor you were as a child, you can become wealthy.  You can.  It might take work.  It might take LOTS OF WORK.  But if that's what you dedicate yourself to, it will happen.  That doesn't mean that if you want to be rich, you will.  You have to be willing to work.  Even more important, it's OK if that's not your goal because we have enough wealth, we have built a country whose foundation is so strong, that you will not go without even if you choose to pursue things other than wealth.  In some places you either fight to survive or you die.  In some places even if you fight tooth a nail every second, you die anyway.  Here you can be lazy AND fat.  Think about it.  The fact that fat and lazy are synonymous says something about our culture.  In many places, if you are lazy you are certainly not fat and you may not be alive.

    There are many complaints about this country.  Foreign policy.  Health care.  Education.  Disparity between rich and poor.  There are things we could do better.  And you know what? THERE ALWAYS WILL BE.  No human is perfect.  Certainly no country ever will be.  NO COUNTRY.  But what we have is as close as it's ever come.  IN HISTORY.  You need to appreciate it.  I've heard America called evil by its OWN CITIZENS.  Clearly they've studied neither history nor current events.  The world is full of danger.  Of inequality.  Of limited opportunity.  Our country is the land of opportunity.  Work hard and continue to work hard in the face of failure and eventually your work will pay off.  Things fall apart, in this country and only in this country, when you've given up.  And even then, there is opportunity for rebirth, to rise up again and stand tall.  Nowhere else.

    Realize how much you love this country.  Realize how much it has done for you.  Realize how blessed you are.  Realize that even in hard times, better times can and usually will come.  Realize that you can work to become great. You can work to become greater than you are.  Realize that your children can stand on a higher plateau than you.  Realize all this and act accordingly.  You have a responsibility, a responsibility to respect our history and present and to work hard in respect of our future and that of your children.

    The opportunity is there.  It is always there.  Do you want it and more importantly, are you willing to work for it?

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