Wednesday, October 08, 2008

What's Right in America

I've been ranting a bit about things that are bugging me here in the States, but I haven't given equal time to the things I love. So here goes:

Thunderstorms. We had the most awesome thunderstorm the other night, and Texas thunderstorms are my favorite. The lightening shoots across the sky in firework-like displays, and the thunder literally rolls across the sky. I remember in high school, we had a two story house with a tin roof. My bedroom was upstairs, and on nights with thunderstorms I could lay in bed and listen to the thunder and watch the displays. It's one of my favorite things.

Choice. In America, we have a choice for just about everything out there in terms of purchasing things. The cell phones I despise, food, clothing, toys, sports equipment, name it. When we have the means, we do not need to settle in our choices. We can get exactly what we want when we want it. Grant it, that ease of purchase is what has us a little bit (OK, a lot-a-bit) spoiled, but it's there.

Friendliness. I love the fact that strangers will just pop into a conversation, will wave a thank you (although a really funny comedian, Brian Regan, has a bit about this very thing. I'll try to find it and post it. It's called "the Finger" and it's not what it sounds like.), open doors for does a heart good to see those type of things.

Volunteers and Charity. People like to give of their time for no pay. It's the most selfless thing, and I believe it's one of the things that makes America strong. It's surely one of the things that makes America proud. Most of the rest of the world is focused on surviving and getting ahead. But America is in a place in her history where she can do good for others without expecting or asking for pay. And our charitable giving as a nation is unmatched. I remember after the tsunami in Thailand, the American government was criticized for not giving more, but what wasn't taken into account was the amount of private donations that were given. The GOVERNMENT didn't need to give as much, because her private citizens were. Makes me proud.

Last, but not least, education. I know the school system takes a lot of heat for things, but our teachers are pretty innovative, and they are willing to do what it takes to ensure that kids are learning. Did you know that there is a teaching style that has been part of the education system for many years (round table) that England wants to implement in it's classrooms? They send teachers here to observe it in action, and the reason it's so good is that it eliminates the back of the classroom. Every student has to be involved in the lesson. England wants to make it the standard classroom setup in their schools.

While there are a lot of things wrong here in the States, there are many more things that are right. Our democratic system is one of the best in the world, and while we may not like it all the time, or there may be corruption or negligence in the system, in reality it all comes down to us and what we allow, the choices we make. In the end, it's ours, and for better or worse, I love it!

No comments: