Πέμπτη, 2 Φεβρουαρίου 2012

America the Beautiful


I am forced nearly every day to acknowledge the pain and suffering America has caused in the world. It's broadcast on the news, spouted by friends and acquaintances at every gathering. Even the little second and third graders I work with have heard enough at home that they can bring things up in class. Of course their take on America's influence on the world can sometimes be hilariously wrong given the understanding a seven year old has on current events.
Needless to say this is not the America I knew growing up. And as when growing up we realize our parents are human and with feet of clay, so it's been for me with America. There is so much I would like America to change, to take responsibility for, not only in its foreign policy but in its policy towards its own citizens. And yet I still believe there's no place on earth like America, the opportunities it offers, the freedoms we enjoy, its beauty and comfort. I realize that's not true for everyone. But at least until recently, the percentage of people still able to enjoy America's opportunities has been higher than in most of the rest of the world.
This crisis which has hit Greece so hard has spread rapidly around the world. Greece didn't have very far to fall and is crashing quickly. Other countries like Germany, France and, yes, America have a lot further to fall. Just imagine the resounding crash if and when America hits bottom. It would be wonderful if the world could reassert itself and regain its balance before that happens. (It would be even better if it would happen before Greece comes apart at the seams.)
What would be really wonderful is if America could reinvent its image; if it could once again become the land of dreams come true, a leader in the care of its citizens, the purveyor of peace, an innovator in medicine, green energy, conservation, healthy food production - so many things we have the physical and people resources to accomplish and we seem to have lost our way in the search for money, things, convenience and comfort.
We're all citizens of this planet Earth, whether in Africa, Australia, Asia or America and it's my fervent wish we realize that sooner rather than later, while we still have time to correct our mistakes.

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