Grateful to be an American
Throughout all of the [negative] bantering I heard before this election I couldn’t seem to shake a simple thought I’ve had especially since moving to Ethiopia; I am SO unbelievably lucky to be an American.
I’m not writing this to be holier than thou or to scoff at our “first world problems” because I truly believe that all things in life are relative, and for Americans, the presidential election and local elections hold a lot of significance and shouldn’t be taken lightly. But I AM writing this to remind us all that at the end of the day, in relativity, we are still lucky to live in our land of the free regardless of what candidate was/is chosen each election.
We live in a land full of freedoms, full of rights (though we are still working on some). We can talk about what we want without fear of repercussion, we can practice any beliefs or religion or lack thereof that we choose without any interference from our government. We have the right to vote for local and federal leaders and we are allowed to congregate to stand up for what we believe in to see changes made.
We live in a land of privilege and indulgence. Most people have access to clean drinking water, food on their table, a roof overhead and for those who don’t for whatever reason, there are support services in place. We have access to health care services- the top in the world, and we have outstanding education facilities.
In so many places around the world, people can only dream of these things. The life that we so easily take for granted is what many people pray for every day of their lives. Food and water are not readily available, and the roof over their heads leak consistently. The medical facilities are understaffed and unclean when one can afford to go. School is a privilege that not everyone gets to enjoy. Rights are almost unheard of and consequences as harsh as death are a reality for those who choose to speak out and propose a different idea. Life is beyond difficult for so many around the world. And we forget.
So today, as you’re thinking about the circumstances of our nation, whether you agree, disagree, are happy, or in disgust, please take a moment to think about how lucky we truly are. Regardless of the candidate, regardless of the party affiliation, or the “side” that you choose to support, remember to be thankful that we live in a country that allows us to be free. Remember that the power still lies in the hands of us, the people, and that we have the choice to recognize the positives, support one another, and push forward as one. We have the opportunity to better our lives, our country, our world every day; we just have to do it. Together.