Those who know me personally will tell you I lean toward pessimism more often than not, but it’s difficult to offend me. In my opinion, taking offense is a choice. I have a relative who is a dyed in the wool pessimist and he loves to talk politics with me to see if he can make me angry. The temper of my youth still haunts me. *sigh*
A few weeks ago, we began our usual debate and I took an optimistic stance (which drives him crazy) and threw it at his defeatist attitude. It was all in good fun until he questioned my love of country in the form of, “and you still want to live here?” Now I just told you that taking offense is a choice, but his question hit me wrong. I loudly proclaimed, “that pisses me off!”Where else would I want to live? In Afghanistan where as a woman I have no rights at all? In Somalia, the most corrupt country in the world? In one of the 60 countries in which I would face persecution for my Christian faith?
I realize there is corruption, cronyism, and mismanagement in our government, but the United States of America is still the greatest country in the world. Why else would so many people flock to our shores, legally and illegally? Because they know they have a chance here. A chance to chase their dreams. And freedom. Freedom to practice whatever religion they choose, freedom to disagree with the government – so many freedoms that other countries pale in comparison.
Independence Day is this coming weekend, a day to celebrate the birth of our nation. While technically July 4, 1776 doesn’t mark the Colonies’ freedom from British rule, it was the day that the Second Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence and arranged for it to be authenticated, printed and distributed. It solidified our goal of becoming a nation apart from Britain. A republic free from monarchy rule.
The stories I write are stitched together with patriotism, even if politics is never mentioned. The liberties and freedoms I am accustomed to are the well from which I drink and that nourishment feeds my creativity. Never question my love for my country. Faith, family and country, for all—my love never wavers.