Today was kind of a waste for me. Afflicted with a hangover from the previous night, I kind of just mosied around all day, not really accomplishing anything. Now it’s 4am and I’m stricken with insomnia. I had planned on writing a decent blog, one of a series that would detail my dissatisfaction with the U.S.A. I’ve wanted to put into words my thoughts regarding America’s infatuation with professional sports and the problems that arise by paying politicians good salaries, among other subjects, that often really bother me.
Since almost four years ago when I went on vacation to Costa Rica and wound up staying and living there and more recently visiting countries in the Caribbean, Central & South America, Europe and the Middle East, I’ve noticed that every country I’ve been to does something better than us Americans. I grew apart from America a bit. For example, the easy going lifestyle in Costa Rica is incredible. Everyone is tranquil, not bothered by the annoyances of daily life that would send typical Americans reeling. Or in Israel, I was stunned by the unity among the citizens when I was given the opportunity to participate in a social protest that saw 250,000 people attend, a proportionate amount to 11,000,000 here in the States. Could you imagine 11,000,000 people rallying in D.C. or N.Y.? To top it all off, I’ve never really had an appreciable connection to the U.S. I was born here and have lived here for most of my life, but really all I have here are family and friends. And to be brutally honest, I’d quickly up and leave everyone behind were I to feel it be the best decision for my life.
But today kind of changed me. It wasn’t the 9/11 remembrances or the constant display of pride and strength by my fellow countrymen, but rather a thought that entered my mind associated with 9/11. “For what reason is a person, or country, so hated or loved?” America must be incredibly good at what it’s doing, to generate such strong feelings in our admirers and our despisers. There really is no middle of the spectrum when it comes to the U.S.A. Further, a country that so quickly formed and rose to power has to be doing something right, right?
We still boast some of the world’s finest educational institutions. We still rank highly in innovation, in all arenas. We dominate world athletics. And while in some instances our departure abroad to fight on behalf of other countries was ill-conceived and arguably “incorrect”, we were certainly appreciated in others, such as World War I and II. These are just some of the illustrations of America’s blessings.
It was inevitable that we give back some of the power attained post world-war II to rising nations as they too look to continually push forward into the future. And certainly there are a lot of domestic problems.
But two things are still true: we are a democracy where citizens have a say and capitalism still reigns. And that’s all I really want. Today I re-realized why I’m proud to be American.
p.s. It’s 4am and all that was straight off the top, but bottom line is “U-S-A!”