I’ll say the same thing everyone else online is blogging for their November 4th entries — today is a big day for our country. Any day when the citizens of a country are given free reign to upheave a leader with the power of their vote is a historic day. However strongly I may feel about the outcome of the events of this day, I know I am a citizen of a great country.
Joel reminded me of this a couple weeks ago over breakfast. After making his daily bowl of hot oatmeal, we were sitting at the table when he pointed out the label on the Quaker Oats canister, “What does this make you think of: ‘Made in the USA for international sales only.’”
“Um, it might not be up to code so they sent it overseas?” was my cynical reply.
Yet, when we talked about it, we realized that as Americans, we have come to expect that our country gives us the best, or at least makes it accessible to us — the most secure national protection (have you been in an American airport that has signs posted, saying, “The screening of passengers in the following countries does not meet American standards: …..” and then you check your itinerary again, just to make sure you don’t have a stopover there!), the safest medicines, the smoothest highways, and the highest quality food. So, when we hear something is used in other countries, but isn’t approved for American consumption, we often raise our eyebrows and wonder what might be wrong with it!
It’s not that way where we live now.
After doing our best to cut through a leathery piece of beef at our host’s home one night, she apologized, “Our country sends the best beef away to other countries, and leaves the worst parts here for us.” When shopping for coffee in this world famous coffee destination, we know that bags marked “Export Quality” are pure beans will not have fillers and sugar added. While I don’t know the extent of the truth of my host’s statement, it revealed a different sentiment that she has of her country than what I had of mine. Though equally proud of her country (and for good reason), she has a much different expectation of what her nation will provide for her.
Our differences do not make us better, but I am thankful to be a part of country in which I have reason to have a great deal more confidence than citizens of many other countries abroad. Of course, there are many ways in which we can improve, but I am thankful for my American citizenship and today, thankful that it also lends me the power to voice my opinion through my vote.