Friday, July 3, 2015

America ~ Not Perfect But I Still Love You



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
a community.




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
around them.

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
leaders.



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
them.  

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






15 comments:

  1. Susan, I had no idea that you taught young children overseas. What an incredible experience for anyone. I once thought about teaching abroad, but I never followed through. I did have colleagues who did, and was fascinated by their stories and accounts of their experiences. I think travel in general makes us more empathetic and appreciative of the other cultures in our world.
    And yes, I am proud to be an American. I love our country and look forward to celebrating it's birthday with our neighborhood parade, a cookout with friends, and the peace of knowing that we live with freedom.

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  2. Oh, and Sadie and I wish you and David and Bentley a Happy 4th of July.

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  3. This was an awesome post, Susan - and I cannot wait to learn more about those shenanigans. I am Irish on both sides, and shenanigans is something I understand only too well. I can see my father's eyes right now in my mind and heart when he was "up to something." They actually glistened in fun. Oh it was a fun household to be sure.

    That's a neat fact about your father, too. I love you learned your love of travel through him.

    Have a wonderful weekend celebrating our freedom! May it always be the case - we have so much more to lose than the average American realizes, I'm afraid. Hugs.

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  4. Happy 4th. of July and always love the USA. Enjoy the weekend with hubby and Bentley.

    Hugs,
    FABBY

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  5. ILOVE THIS POST!!! I am beaming, I am so proud and grateful to be an American. It is an Honor and a true blessing to be born in this great country. Thanks you for wonderful post. Happy Birthday, America!

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  6. Hip, hip, hooray for the red, white and blue! I loved this post. I just don't think we realize how fortunate we are to live here and the thought of all of the stuff going on today just makes me so sad.

    Great post!

    Happy 4th of July!

    Judy

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  7. It's such fun coming here to visit and getting to know you, Susan! What a beautiful post! We are true kindred spirits. As a second grade teacher, I always shared my love of America and my travel experiences with my students. How fortunate you were to teach abroad, learning from your students while they learned from you. Can't wait to hear those stories!! During my summers off, I have been blessed to spend wonderful, long visits with friends in Europe. Staying with their families helped me learn things that most tourists never learn. Although we live in different parts of the world, we are so much alike. The differences just make our friendships more interesting! Over the years, the gift of travel has taught me how truly blessed we are to live in America. I think about my freedoms each day. I know that you will understand, Susan. Have a wonderful celebration this weekend! ♡ Dawn@Petals.Paper.SimpleThymes

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  8. No country is ever perfect, but at least we still have to freedom to be be different. That is something that many people in other countries don't have. xo Laura

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  9. Sometimes it takes a trip outside of normal surroundings to appreciate what one has. There truly is no place like home! My dad used to say that all the time after his visits abroad. What a really neat experience. I can't wait to hear your tales of Patrick and Nigel. Happy 4th.

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  10. I want to applaud you for such a incredible post! This post should become viral so many in the U.S would realize just how fortunate we really are. We aren't "perfect" but look what we take for grated! Lori Kolecki

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  11. What a wonderful thoughtful post. I can't wait to hear more of your stories!

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  12. Well said, Susan! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and as a retired first grade teacher, would love to swap stories with you one day about our experiences. Happy Fourth to you and your family!

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  13. What a wonderful post! We so often don't appreciate what we have. We just don't stop and think about it. So, thanks for reminding us! God bless America!

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Bentley and I LOVE and read every comment.

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