America. The Beautiful.
America. The Beautiful.
After a long day of being outside on land that I thank God every day for allowing me to live on, I collapsed into bed and turned on the television to lull myself into a sleepy time wonderland where I’m eating carne asada tacos with Ted Cruz, discussing his Cabinet appointees. The channel is HGTV, of course, because I like to yell at people who base their whole house hunting decision on the paint color in the basement. The show is “House Hunters International” and I see a young mother earnestly say, “we want to expose our children to different cultures and learning experiences, so we are packing up our three toddlers, capriciously quitting our jobs, and moving to a socialist country where we don’t speak the language, will be unable to afford living in a one bedroom hovel with no refrigerator, and hostile café waiters will splash hot latte all over us”. And the camera zooms in on her three little kids who don’t appear to be thrilled with the prospect of weird food.
What are these people thinking? How do you “expose” a toddler and very young children to “culture” when little tykes are only interested in a very small sphere of “culture” that can be summed up in three words….security, sustenance, and love. Why are they voluntarily leaving a country that, to me, offers the best of everything a young child (or anyone, for that matter) wants and needs? Even with uncertainty and political turmoil, our country still offers such a plethora of natural wonders, cultures, and exceptional people that exceeds anything else in the world. People risk everything to get into this country and I know illegal “immigrants” more appreciative of our country then citizens. Are people so jaded, spoiled and snobby that they have to drag their kids to live in other countries to experience “culture”?
I don’t like the way the media portrays living abroad as so much better and culturally interesting than living here, at home, in America. I definitely don’t like the way people so casually under-appreciate the many varied blessings staying put, here, in their own country, brings. How did it become so easy and effortless to discard and reject America in favor of a life in a foreign land just because it looks charming and you eat on a sidewalk? It doesn’t make any sense for a young mother to decide it’s better for her small children to live amongst strangers in a strange land rather than invest her efforts into “exposing” her children to America. Wouldn’t it be better for her to teach her young children our own profoundly unique history? Show them all the many “cultures” that exist right here, in a country so diverse and varied, those kids would never lack for “learning experiences”. And to teach them how very lucky they are to live here, in America. Because I believe with all my heart…..America IS exceptional. No matter how Obama and his minions (the only “exceptionalism” they believe in is their own) want to drag us down to third world socialistic status. We Americans are complicated, diverse, hopeful, generous, industrious, proud, boisterous, brave, pretty damn funny, and really quite wonderful. THIS country is where it’s AT. I’m humbled by the sacrifices made by so many to pioneer, build, and protect this country and regardless of the disdain our President shows for our origins and our traditions, this country is the most exceptional and most beautiful place on earth.
I’m not a curmudgeon who sits at home yelling at the television. I’ve done my fair share of travel overseas. The world is full of lots of interesting people, places, food, art, and history. It’s the world….of course it’s big and amazing. Travel does give one new ideas and insights into being human. I appreciate it all, and it’s fun to see and experience new and different cultures, but that doesn’t mean I need to move there to be better or happier. I understand people wanting to take trips to different countries to add to their life experience. Those situations are called…”vacations”. As my very wise Mom used to say, “Bloom where you’re planted”.
With every trip I’ve made abroad, short or long, I just couldn’t wait to come home to America and when I did, it was with a grateful heart. No matter how great the food was or how glorious the cathedral, nothing I experienced in another country compared to flying home over fields of amber grain.
So, tell me. Tell me in the comments some of YOUR favorite American places. The landmark, the dive bar, the food truck, the old guy who sells newspapers, the ballpark, the big oak tree with your initials, the secret canyon, the museum of yarn, your neighbor. Tell me what makes America so special to YOU.
Maybe that young mother can be convinced to stay here… to show her children all the glories of America.
Because while the world IS full of “interesting people, places, food, art, and history”, I believe America has all those things…and so much more….in spades.