Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Born in the USA

After 9/11, I discovered how much I really love this country and at the same time, how much I hate it. Prior to September 11, I took America for granted, insulated from the oppression, suffering and paucity the majority of people around the globe are subject too every day, I focused on my infinitesimally small world as if every streak of lightening streaked, clap of thunder clapped and gust of wind gusted contingent upon the events in my minuscule microcosm.

Unwittingly, I relied on "American decadence" as a gauge to measure my standing on a narrowly defined quality-of-life spectrum, always falling short, no matter how hard I tried. Valuing prosperity and material advancement above all else, I completely overlooked the fact that I had already bounced off this spectrum. No wonder I felt as if I were spinning my wheels. I was trying to achieve something that was handed to me on a silver platter the day I became an American citizen, that is, the day I was born.

Can every American citizen, born in the USA, claim the same? Obviously not to the same extent; I cannot claim the same "good fortune" as someone like let's say, Paris Hilton, but overall, most would agree being born here offers more advantages than being born anywhere else in the world thanks to our Founding Fathers and the many others, often unacknowledged, who worked so hard to make this country great. Unfortunately, there are far too many tragic exceptions to this born-in the-USA rule, exceptions that should not exist, in a country with our massive wealth and power.

However, I feel the same way about my much as I love them, there are times when I "hate" them, just as I'm sure they hate me on occasion. I'd be suspicious of anyone who claims not to have felt the full spectrum of emotion regarding something about which they care deeply. Our capability to feel the entire range, from hate, anger, and sadness to joy, happiness, and love is what makes us human.

I would never give up on either my family, friends and/or humanity, nor my country, the world and/or the entire universe for they underpin and validate who and what I am, wealthy or poor, healthy or sick, for better or for worse, until death do us part.


Pete,  02:15  

It's easy to forget how good we have it, but compared to the rest of the world most Americans live like kings and queens.

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