Our government has issues, no doubt. They overspend, are self-seeking, and sometimes dishonest. But we aren’t being ruled by blood thirsty dictators who authorize their military to burn down villages, rape women, and take young children and turn them into guerrilla soldiers. That’s great.
Are our religious freedoms sometimes restricted more than they ought to be? Yes. There is a line that gets crossed here and there unnecessarily and unfairly. But at least there is a line. We can walk down the street wearing an “I love Jesus” t-shirt, singing Amazing Grace, and tossing free Bibles out to whoever is walking by and NOT get beheaded or put in prison. And on the flip side, you can walk on the other side of the street with a megaphone openly disagreeing with the belief system held by the majority of Americans and not be persecuted as well. That’s great.
Does common core stink? Are our student’s test scores slipping? Is school violence a growing concern? Yes, yes, and yes. But we have an entire section of our government dedicated to trying to identify and fix these problems. And even if you think they are doing a terrible job, the fact still remains that we live in a country that cares enough to offer free public education to every child. And by being plugged into the public school system, some of our poorest children are also gaining access to basic healthcare and even meals that would not be available to them otherwise. Compared to countries where only boys can attend school or only those who are rich and well connected, our system is great.
Are we entering a new phase in our country with foreign and domestic terrorism? Unfortunately I believe we are. And that can be very scary. And we will need to evolve our current laws and procedures accordingly. But even so, we are STILL living in one of the safest, most secure countries in the world. Contrary to what the media would have you believe, America still has the edge in almost every aspect of defense. We have the intelligence, the man power, and the fire power to use at our disposal if needed. Many other countries deal with war, car bombs, suicide bombers, and extreme religious zealots on a DAILY basis. I’m not saying that we just need to accept these attacks. But keep them in perspective - the fact that they are so rare that when they happen it is BIG news (and not just another blurb on page 2 of the paper), that is great.
Do we still have to deal with hatefulness, prejudice and discrimination? Yes, we do. But that has been around since the beginning of time and will never go away completely. In America, a white woman can be married to a black man without many people batting an eye. People born with disabilities or to a lower social class can live just as fulfilling lives (and even more fulfilling sometimes) as perfectly healthy people born into privilege. And while they still get used by the most ignorant of people, words like nigger, honky, or retard are so disdainful in our society that simply typing them makes me feel uncomfortable. Regardless of what the media says, the people of America that I know are still good, hard working, good-hearted people who just want to live in peace with the people around them. That’s great.
So like I said earlier, I think we just need to breathe. Just take a minute and realize that we are going through a rough patch. Acknowledge where we need to grow but don’t forget how great we already are.