What’s Right with America

Over the past several years we have all found myriad things wrong with America.  We continue to concentrate and express our views on these negative aspects in an effort to raise the level of awareness.  There is also a cathartic satisfaction in venting ones’ spleen so to speak.

Today I want to tell you what I find good in this country.  It’s not a comprehensive list just a few thoughts and important things for me personally.  Take a look at the positive aspects that differentiate our homeland from the rest of the world.  We need to remember what it is that makes us rant and rave against the problems that we ourselves see.  These are the things so precious to us that they cause us to stand up against them.  So here goes…

Freedom to decent against our government is a big positive point for me.  It involves our freedom of speech and our opportunity to voice an “opinion” in our chosen forum.  We can say almost anything about our government without fear of reprisal; at least so far.  As you read the various blogs and opinions on this page and others you can clearly see that we are allowed to express our discontent with the issues that touch us personally.  Not too many countries allow this level of freedom; in fact many would put us to death for our anti-government opinions.  Fortunately we can still stand on a soapbox and shout our message to the world.

Freedom of choice is another advantage I enjoy and celebrate.  I can choose where to shop, what to purchase, and how to spend my leisure time.  I can still choose my profession and seek the education necessary to move my chosen career forward.  I can select the automobile that’s right for me.  I can choose who to marry and if I choose I can enter into a same-sex relationship.  I can choose how many children to have and how to educate them.  I can even choose to rally against the things that I find offensive.  I can choose my morality and religious belief system.  If I choose I can be atheist, agnostic, or zealous proselytizer for my belief.  What matters most is that I DO have a choice and so far I have the right to exercise it openly.

Freedom of religion is very important to me.  I can believe in any god and not fear retribution from the Grand Inquisitor.  My personal beliefs run counter to most of the Christian base religions in this country.  We all believe what and how we choose because this country was founded on this basic freedom.  Recently there has been a concerted push by the Righteous Right to consolidate this country into two camps: Christian and others.  Fortunately, we have been spared the Jihad and Religious wars that persecute Infidels.  Considering the disastrous events in the Middle East and how these fundamentalists are forcing religion on the populace, we are indeed fortunate to have a choice.  We can choose to ignore the pressure from every side and continue to worship as we please; or not at all.

We have a community spirit in this country.  Many small enclaves of folks band together to support and encourage each other openly.  We rise up to help those in need and we find ways to give to these causes.  I’m not talking about the splinter groups that demand Veganism or Rights for Lab Rats.  I’m talking about helping each other when times are hard.  I have a friend that underwent hip replacement surgery recently.  His health insurance company is running him ragged with changes and denials.  Meanwhile the bills keep coming and the pressure mounts.  He is an excellent musician and very good friend.  This afternoon several of our friends are getting together to raise money to offset some of these expenses.  The music community in this town is very cohesive, as it is in most cities in America.  What counts is that we can come together in support of a friend in need.  It’s the right thing to do and for the right reasons.  We don’t need governmental sanctions or permission.

We have a voice in our government.  I do believe this is fading quickly, but we can still voice our satisfaction or discontent with the way things are run.  We can vote!  We can select our representatives through elections.  *I have written about this as an illusion in the past but for today let’s pretend that is still works in theory and our voice is being heard, maybe just not as loudly as I would like.  We do have the ability to participate in this selection process albeit not as actively as before, but we can still participate.

“If you look for the bad in anything, you surely will find it.”  This has been attributed to more famous people than I can count, but that doesn’t dilute the message at all.  It is a matter of perspective and focus.  If you spend your day looking for things to complain about, or the bad things in your world you will indeed find plenty to keep you unhappy.  Contrariwise if you look for the good things you will find them also.  So your perspective governs your reality.  Like can be a shit sandwich or bowl of strawberries and cream.  You can choose!

What I would like to suggest is that we make an effort to look for the more positive side of our country and our lives for a while.  I do not suggest that we ignore the negative things, but spending some time identifying and appreciating the good things in life and I this country, may change our awareness and our focus on the positive things that we can strengthen rather than putting all our energy in the negatives.  Changing our focus may provide more power then railing against the bad.  Rather than chipping away at the bad candidate, put your energy into the good candidate.  Rather than bashing the church for using god as stick support the one that treats belief as a positive influence.  Rather than being discontent with life, find something to enjoy and support.

We can all see the bad, but do we take the time to recognize and appreciate the good?

It’s just a thought.