I was globally aware long before it became popular to think globally.
Because my Daddy was president of the international division of a major
US corporation, I was introduced to people of all nations from a very
early age. I knew that one of the things I wanted to do as soon as I
was old enough to make my way in this world was to travel everywhere
and see everything through my own eyes as my Daddy did through
his. So I did.
I was a teacher at two different schools in the middle east. My first
teaching experience was at an Irish School in Bahrain. It was
established to give Irish contractors a school for their
children to continue their studies while their daddys were under
contract to build an electric substation on the island. It was a
wonderful experience teaching a small class of 6, 7, and 8 year olds
in a makeshift classroom on the second floor of a building that housed
a full fledged Irish pub on the first floor.
After that, I was hired by the Sacred Heart School to teach first
primary in their newly constructed primary school out in the
desert in a village named Isa Town. This time, instead of all the
students coming from one country, my students came from many
countries and many faiths. Somehow, it all worked. We all
coexisted and everyone studied hard and grew together as
I learned first hand how life is quite different in other nations.
The opportunities and freedoms we enjoy in our own country
are often not experienced on the global stage.
Here is what I learned ~
Not all children go to school. Many are subject to a life
of hard labor with little or no chance for advancement.
Many fathers work in other countries as servants or
gardeners or hotel and restaurant workers to earn enough
money to send back home to support their families.
Citizens are often not permitted to speak their minds
regarding the decisions their government makes.
News and media can and is suppressed by governments
giving citizens limited knowledge of the world
Not everyone has running water or potable drinking water.
Electric power is often intermittent if available at all.
Sewers don't always exist.
Medical care is often not available to the average
citizen in many countries.
Many citizens live in constant fear because of
tyrannical governments controlled by corrupt
After my experience living and traveling abroad for several years,
I returned home to the United States. While I always had a great
love for this country, I had an even greater appreciation for it after
what I had witnessed through my own eyes in other nations. The
many opportunities and freedoms that are offered to us became all
the more precious to me. I was then and am now, very thankful
to be a citizen of the United States.
I am prompted to write this because of the disturbing news I have
heard recently. Many Americans have lost pride for our country.
Why I wonder?
Are we perfect? No of course we are not. As humans we all make
mistakes and must learn from those mistakes and move on to
create a better future. Yet we Americans were given through our
constitution, the opportunity to have that freedom to live our
lives in peace and to grow in our maturity and to help those
less fortunate than ourselves.
This nation is a melting pot of people and cultures. It is much
like the classroom of my 45 first primary students composed of
children of many lands and cultures. It was my job as their
teacher to help them to work together to learn and grow. We
made mistakes along the way and learned from them. At the
end of the school term I was proud of each and every one of
So as I celebrate this July 4th, the symbol of our freedom
and independence as a nation, I am proud of my country.
No, we are not perfect. Yes, we have problems that need
to be addressed. We are a large family of people of many
varied backgrounds who live and work together sometimes
well, and sometimes not. Yet we have the opportunity and
the freedom to live together and learn from each other.
Not all peoples of this planet have the luxuries and rights
that our constitution has afforded.
That being said. I love this nation and will continue
to be proud to be an American.
Have a safe and happy 4th of July!
Oh and I am thinking that I have lots of stories
about many of my adorable students. Can't wait
to tell you the story about Patrick and Nigel ~ two
little red haired, freckled face Irish lads who
were full of mischief and how I coped with their
shenanigans as their fresh faced brand new teacher.
Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley