America has a lot of issues. A LOT of issues. We are bombarded with them everyday on the news and in our newsfeeds. It gets depressing and frustrating. I know I am guilty of forgetting how ridiculously lucky we are to live in this country- especially if we were born here and basically had to just grow up healthy and not screw it up too much. America is the greatest, let us count the ways.
1. The Existence of The Daily Sampler. Wait, wait. It’s not just me tooting my own horn… though, it is kind of fun, right? I love you, DS! What I meant is that I get to write a blog for free, post it to the masses, and say whatever the hell I want without being truly and seriously persecuted for it. All you nut jobs on Facebook liking hateful statements by radical politicians or whining on about how the country is falling to hell- the great news is, you CAN say whatever you want. I will roll my eyes at you and unfriend you, but it is your right as an American citizen to be free to spew whatever hatred you want. You can even unfollow me, too! Luckily, what I see much more is the sharing of positive, hopeful, and inspiring ideas- also incredibly American. We aren’t censored, and we aren’t blocked from certain corners of the internet because of government restrictions. We are so lucky.
2. We have food, places to live, and relative peace and safety. I was going to say water, but didn’t. Sorry, California! Bottled fizzy water is much better, anyways. Really- when was the last time you really appreciated your bed? Your tiny little apartment that may be sweltering hot in the summer, but protects from the elements year-round? The clothes that are too big on you and faded from detergent- those are all things to be grateful for. We can buy clothes of the highest quality or an entire outfit for $30. We can go to a grocery store that is ALWAYS stocked with TOO MANY CHOICES, a farmer’s market with honest-to-goodness homegrown produce, or even produce our own food in our backyards without having to worry about some invaders destroying our lifestyle. We can sleep at night without fearing bombs will be dropped overhead. For this, we are lucky.
3. We bitch, and bitch, and complain, and bitch some more about our health care system. Yes, it has many kinks and it’s expensive as hell. BUT WE HAVE HEALTH CARE. You and your small child will not likely die from starvation, infection, or pneumonia just because there wasn’t open access to a doctor. We have wonderful, hard working health care providers (that are most likely working on this and all holidays,) who take care of us when we need extra TLC, and help us mend when we’re broken. Thank you, America for healthcare. Well-worth $24 a paycheck.
4. The lap of luxury; we truly sit in it. Who else in the world has the time, means, or lifestyle to consider things like a college education, whether or not to spend your extra money on a pedicure or massage, where to go on vacation- in a plane (!), or deciding whether or not to sample several plates at new restaurant A, or new restaurant B. We’re not just lucky, we’re spoiled.
5. The people. We can see our family, our friends, our neighbors, and colleagues whenever we want. Most of us haven’t had our families shipped off to a neighboring country for their safety, because of poverty, or because of religious persecution. We can choose to be together, or choose to be apart- but we usually are lucky enough to know we will in fact see those people we love at another time, a later date, and not wonder how those people are doing, whether they survived the week or not. We are so, so lucky.
The United States of America is far from perfect, a work in progress for sure. But we are certainly one of the greatest nations in the world for the reasons I listed above, and for these reasons. Happy 4th of July!