Friday, July 4, 2008

Indpendence Day Thoughts

Some of the things I learned from our trip to Honduras:

I'm glad I pay taxes for good roads and universal K-12 education..

I can be thankful that it is a rare thing in this country for an ordinary citizen to be shaken down for a bribe by a police officer.

However frustrating our experiences were with the foster-care system when we were foster parents, at least there was a foster care system, and children from broken family systems do not have to live on the streets.

I live in a country where, despite it's faults, we can pretty much trust in the rule of law.

I really love my country. My ancestors were able to flee some very terrible circumstances (one had his tongue cut out for preaching), and they came here to a place where we have flourished and lived in freedom, received educational opportunities, owned farms and businesses, voted for our leaders, sometimes even been those elected leaders. They pioneered, survived depressions, fought in wars, ran stations on the underground railroad, founded and preached in churches. They are the United States that I know. Thanks to them, I am proud of my country.


Rose said...

Well said, Joyce! We all complain about this or that problem in our country and see so many things that need to be fixed, yet in the end the fact that we CAN complain without fear of reprisal is one of the most important things that makes this country great.

abbie said...

Great post. It's wonderful how much we appreciate our home after we visit those less fortunate.
Where did the tongue-cutting out incedent happen? How horrible!
My 7-greats-grandfather came here from England in the 1600's and helped to found our town's Congregational church (Puritan then). I can see the church's steeple out of my living room window in the winter when there aren't any leaves on the trees.
I am greatly appreciative that my ancestors came here, so that I have the freedom to believe what I want, speak about those beliefs, read, make decisions, vote, and all of the other things that I wouldn't be able to do elsewhere.
For those folks who complain about America, they should realize how lucky they are that they're able to complain without persecution and help to make changes to make our country better.

Joyce said...

Rose-though I get tired of hearing all the complaints about the US, you're right; at least we can do that to our heart's content without fear, and push for the changes we want to see happen.

Abbie-That incident happened in Switzerland in the 1600s. Those ancestors were Baptist pacifists, which was not the state religion. Apparently he wouldn't quit teaching that baptism did not have to happen in infancy. As a result, his son led their little congregation to Pennsylvania. I had Puritan ancestors arriving in New England in the 1600s, too. One, Robert Seeley, supposedly was one of the first to settle in CT. It's interesting to learn about them; history was a lot of ordinary people living in extraordinary circumstances.

Joyce said...

And by the way, I think it is so cool that you can see that church from your house!

Suburbia said...

Hi! I didn't realise I would 'out' a lurker!!
It's good to read this post. We forget how lucky we are sometimes and take so much for granted. I'm glad to have found you.

Joyce said...

Yes, Suburbia, I'm sure you feel the same way in Britain.
I really enjoy your blog!

Melissa said...

It's funny how we realize what we might have been taking for granted when we see the alternative, isn't it? it's one of the main reasons I like to travel.

abbie said...

Wow, Switzerland. And I always think of it as such a peaceful country. I guess maybe not back then. Horrible story but fascinating. Again, we're lucky we live where we do.

Joyce said...

Abbie, yeah they weren't having too much fun back then.