I have realized that unless somebody knows me personally, from my blog posts someone could get the wrong idea about my values and intentions. I write an awful lot about the miserable conditions that are increasing in the U.S. due to, mainly, avarice. I really hate to see it. As of this moment providence has kept my immediate household fairly insulated from the worst of it. But that can change in a heartbeat.
Paraphrasing Pastor Martin Niemöller:
First they began extortionate pricing at hospitals and bankrupted the seriously ill…but I was not seriously ill.
Then they began reducing Social Security and Medicare and bankrupted the elderly…but I was not elderly.
Then they began outsourcing jobs and bankrupted the production workers…but I was not a production worker.
Then they manufactured financial crises and bankrupted the small investors…but I was not an investor.
Then they bankrupted me.
This poem demonstrates, among other things, the power that works against a compartmentalized, divided society. Divide and conquer…right?
But this is not what I started to write about. What I mean to write about is how much I love the United States. I do. It is a wonderful country. It is wonderfully geographically diverse, filled with natural beauty. When I was growing up, following the Second World War, optimism was high and new and wonderful things were springing up like dandelions in an abandoned lot. Life was good and the future only promised to be better. But even then the seeds for what was about to happen were growing and beginning to show their colors. Just now, when I wrote that last sentence, I had no intention of that phrase referring to “colors” in the context of street gangs. But almost immediately I realized the likeness works. Big corporations in the U.S. are behaving more like street gangs than community institutions/resources. They are avariciously fighting for “turf”.
But there I go again. When I travel, and I’ve traveled a fair amount, I am consistently struck by the goodness I perceive in the people I meet. On the street, in restaurants, in other businesses, there are a lot of good people living in the U.S. These good people that I have often met are from Minnesota, New York, California, Indiana, Mexico, Canada, New Jersey, Finland, England, India, Korea, Idaho, Palestine, Texas, Russia, Tonga, Israel, Alaska, Iran and many, many more places. What they all have in common, the quality that I immediately find engaging, is that they care. Not in a superficial way, they really care about people. There are so many people ready to help a neighbor in need with whatever they can. With all of this goodness, this generosity, this caring, how can the U.S. be in the sorry shape it’s in economically? How can such a great spirit be so dependent upon anti-depressants?
I love the United States. I was born and grew up here. I want to see it regain and even surpass the greatness it once exemplified in the world. Not in a competitive way, not in order to lord it over other countries, but in a cooperative way. As a country in a world of countries that are all exemplary in their health and well-being. We’re all in this together, the air we breathe and the water we drink, it’s all the same. When we love, it’s all the same love.
(Flag art from freeclipartstore.com )