Those who know me well know that I am not a particularly patriotic person. I have not always been proud to be an American nor have I agreed with all the decisions we have made. I have been a reluctant American. I have come to realize what a luxury this is. I can speak my mind at no consequence. Also as I have started to travel I have come to appreciate America more. I appreciate what I have here. My level of comfort and familiarity my ease in going about the world. I know as a country we have some work to do. I know even as a person I have some (quite a bit of) work to do. I am realizing though how lucky I am. I am sure if I moved overseas I would find a way. I would cultivate familiarity and learn customs learn the language, but as it stands right now I really love America. I could write a litany of all the work to be done or try to clearly enumerate the changes that I wish would be made. Part of me also just wants to slow down and take the time to see the good where it is. So rather than a list of complaints I’m going to share with you a list of gratitude, particularly gratitude regarding America.
I am grateful for
- our freedom of speech, so all people can share their thoughts no matter how unpopular or contrary they are
- a cohesive language across the country that enables us to communicate clearly
- the ability to start businesses or ventures as we desire
- national parks that preserve pristine parts of nature
- public education and public libraries to enable our continued learning
- well maintained roads and pathways to travel
- distinct parts of the nation that allow for different microcosms to develop enabling us to explore different ideas and ways of living without having to leave the country
- clean drinking water (in most places), clean air, laws regulating our food to help protect us
- national disaster relief organizations that help out during crises
- local police, firemen and other state workers who help our lives run better, who deliver our mail and help us when things go awry
- kindness of people, who are willing to see others who are new or different and help them grow roots to a new place
- local trails and bike paths, local lakes and oceans and swimming pools
I am in love with America all over again and I am thankful to be here and to feel like I belong.