My brain has been swirling around all over the place this week and it seems that I can’t settle in to write a blog post for the life of me. Too many ideas bouncing around in there some days but none that I can really write about quite yet.
An Australian friend posted a cartoon on her Facebook page the other day and it hit me a little bit hard. The cartoon was of a computer with the caption “Reboot America with no guns and free health insurance”. Ouch. I usually shy aware from confrontation or try to ignore things that are critical but this time I left a comment and simply said that it made me a little sad that she had posted that and that sometimes media (especially in foreign countries ) seem to always focus on the negative things that are going on. She responded that she did not mean to offend but that she does not understand the US policy on guns . Australia has very low tolerance for guns and according to Wikipedia
Obviously they do not subscribe to the Second Amendment that we in the United States have–the right to keep and bear arms from infringement. I am not here to write about gun control or gun rights at all but what struck me about this and many other posts that people who do not live in our country make is that they often do not understand our laws or our culture. Not unlike how we often do not understand theirs.
What I do find disturbing is that so often judgment calls are made by reading one article or quoting from a source that is less than scientific. Cartoons can poke fun and focus on negatives but what gets missed so often are the positives.
I will ALWAYS say that we are blessed to live in our country. Even with all of the flaws and foibles of our government I truly believe that we live in a wonderful place where we DO have freedoms that many others do not have. We have a lot of good things that happen on a daily basis.
One of those things that many do not understand is patriotism. A story has been circulating and is on every news channel now about an Army Ranger, Josh Hargis, who was injured in an attack in Afghanistan where 4 of his team members lost their lives. As his captain pinned a Purple Heart for wounds received in battle on his blanket he fought through the blankets and covers on his bed from his apparent unconscious state to offer up a salute—now referred to as The Salute Seen Around the World. This photo, provided to news agencies by his wife, shows the level of patriotism and honor that this man has for his country.
When I first saw this article and photo I was moved to tears. Being married to someone who has served in the Navy, knowing many friends who have served and still serve in the military I understand what it means to be proud of a country and the people who fight to keep our freedoms. Yes, even those freedoms like the right to keep and bear arms that others do not understand.
I try to be tolerant. I truly strive to be understanding and not jump to conclusions and judgments of others and their beliefs . I believe everyone does have the right to have their opinion and yes—share it. But I also know that the media does not always play up all that is good in the world. I can’t pretend to understand why that is –it just is.
What do you think? If you are from the US do you think that the news outlets focus on the negative? Do you think other countries see the US as misguided? If you are not from the US —what is your perception? Both of your own country and of the US? I guess I just want us all to get along and appreciate the uniqueness of every person and every country—–what about you?