Teach your children and grandchildren to love their country by:
Today the flag is on shirts and pants and hats.
As a child, I lived in the same area from kindergarten through high school graduation. I went to the same schools and associated with the same people. I lived in sort of a bubble. I thought everyone was good and kind and everybody cared about others. We played with our friends in our neighborhoods, and everyone was accepted. If you lived in the area, you belonged. If you moved in, we made you our friend. I was born and raised in California. In the forties and fifties in California, there were not separate facilities for people of different races. Segregation was there because people lived by those who were like them. Nobody seemed to pay much attention. There were mixed neighborhoods and the largest school in our city had students of all races as did some religious schools. Demonstrations and protests were rare. To me, people seemed kinder and more tolerant.
Was there prejudice--yes, but my group of friends never discussed others in a negative way. There was tolerance and intolerance of others practiced by all races at times. People tend to be afraid of what they don't know. No one race had a monopoly on prejudice, and I believe that is still true today.
I was not political as I grew up, but I heard my parents and their friends talking about presidents and vice presidents and candidates. When I was born, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president. He was the only president elected for three terms. When he died Truman became president, and everyone was happy when laws were passed to limit how many terms a president could serve. I remember my parents talking about the "colorful language" often used by Truman. They would be shocked at how some people talk today.
The most important difference I noticed when I was young was that, after a change in presidents, whether or not my parents voted for that person, he became our president. Everyone supported him to some degree. He was not slandered and spoken of as incompetent. People noticed the good he did and not just the bad. Democrat or Republican, it didn't matter. The president was the president. Nobody packed up and moved to another country whether or not they liked that person. They also didn't threaten to move. Most people who threaten don't move. People seemed more civilized.
Some presidents did things that were immoral or wrong, but that was not splashed all over the news. Of course the internet wasn't there to influence everyone. Some of them were good presidents, even though their personal life was not what it should have been. They were from both major parties, but once they were elected we didn't have constant campaigning for the next time--or I didn't notice. They just rolled up their sleeves and tried to do what was best for all of the people--not just some of the people.
No matter which party they belonged to, newly elected presidents didn't spend the four years they were in the oval office campaigning for the next time--or I didn't notice. They just rolled up their sleeves and tried to do what was best for all of the people in our country--not just some of the people, and definitely not just for themselves.
It seems to me that today, in politics, the candidates try to destroy each other. I believe we need to know what kind of person they are. We need to know if they are honest and if they care about helping all of the people or of only helping themselves. I don't think we want to hear the candidates try to assassinate each other's character. My opinion is that each candidate should stand up and talk about himself or herself. They should tell what they are going to do to make our country better. We need to know their policies. If we are trying to decide which person we want to lead our country, we certainly don't need to see them trying to destroy each other.
In this day of social media, we pretty much get the idea that politicians have flaws and what those flaws are. We don't need to see them beating each other up. When I am watching candidates speaking, I have to change the channel if they start running down the opposition. I want someone to be elected for their good qualities and how they can build our country. I don't want someone elected because they dug up the most dirt on the opposition and tried to destroy the other candidate by constantly pointing out their flaws. I want the strongest, most honest, kind, caring, and knowledgeable person to be president.
Then, there is the press. It is my opinion that they need to back off choosing candidates and just report the news. The press should be unbiased on all issues and on all candidates. Sometimes I wonder if reporters are only able to keep their jobs if they take sides (and told which side to take), and that would mean that the news isn't truly the news.
So what about patriotism. For years my husband worked in different countries and we took our family when they were still at home. We live three years in Scotland, and I discovered that the Scots didn't want to leave their country and come to ours. They loved their own country, and it was so beautiful there. I found that most places we went, people were happy to belong to their particular country. In Scotland they were actually fearful to visit America. They watched a lot of television and thought all Americans were alcoholics and carried guns. At this time, that was not true. In fact someone once told us they didn't think we were really Americans because they had never seen us drinking.
When we finally came home from Scotland, my son immediately got on the local high school football team. I remember walking across the field and when the national anthem was played I stood at attention with tears streaming down my face. Another time, we flew into L.A. and as we went through customs, the official said to me, "Welcome home." It seemed a little thing, but I love my country so these things touch my heart. My country has many flaws. I pray that these get remedied.
I think everyone should have some input into what happens in our country, but nobody has the right (or should have) to make it difficult for people in Washington to do their jobs. There is so much dissention in our country over politics. It is my honest belief that after the election is over, we need to come together as one people and try to help the person who was elected--not destroy him. Every person on the earth has flaws. Rioting in the street will not fix those flaws. We only destroy each other when we stay apart and don't do everything in our power to help a new president succeed. If he or she succeeds, our country succeeds. We need to look at the past and do what previous generations have done. We don't have to like the person in charge, but we shouldn't try to destroy them. That person is the chosen leader and deserves a chance. One or two weeks is not long enough to see what they will do. It was Abraham Lincoln who said, "A nation divided against itself cannot stand". We need to come together, even though it is difficult and be one people in our nation. We need to stand together, but if we still have bad feelings for our president (and can't put them aside), we need to wait four years and do our best to elect a person who we feel will do a better job. Four years will not destroy our country, but hate and rioting will take its toll. It is totally unprofitable for everyone if a group of people destroy property or harm people just because they think things are wrong. There are much better methods to improve conditions in the world. There are positive things everyone can do to help. Rioting fixes nothing. Looting fixes nothing.
I want my children and grandchildren to be able to live in a country where people respect one another. Has anyone ever asked you what you would do if you were president. I saw a paper my granddaughter wrote and she mentioned that she would give everyone free frogs. I asked various people what they would do and my list is below. The order these comments are in is simply the order in which I received them.
Parenthesis contain ages of some of the respondents.
I remember when I was in Africa, I went to a store where everyone was black. A little boy was there who had never seen a white person before. As soon as he saw me, his eyes filled with tears he clung to his mother and began to cry and yell. The mom and I talked and he calmed down. He was still not getting too close to me, and she had to hold him. He wasn't taught to fear those who were different, it was just a new experience for him. We need to be understanding and not so quick to judge others. Did she teach him prejudice? No! He was just reacting to the unknown.
There was a lot of poverty in that part of Africa in the eighties, and many people didn't have electricity so they didn't even see those who were different on television. They were grateful for what they had, which was not much by our standards. Did they want to go to America? Some did and some didn't. It was difficult to get a visa or a passport. I met a college boy once who asked me to help him get to America. I said that I didn't have the power to do that. He said to me, "I want to go to America, because there is so much more opportunity there." He was right. LIving conditions there were difficult and so many people were poor. He told me that he wished his ancestors had been taken as slaves to the United States so he could have that opportunity.
Some of the schools and homes had no running water. They had no bathrooms or kitchens in schools or most village homes. You needed to go to an outside faucet in your village to get water to wash or clean your home. These people were still grateful for what they had. They worked hard. They sent as many of their children to school as they could afford. The other children worked to help out. Imagine having to decide which of your children would go to school and which would go to work selling bread in the street. We have been blessed and so many of my fellow Americans don't even realize how much we have.
Some people in our country are poor, but most of them have a tv and a car. Even poor America can send all of there children to school, and it is free.. It would be against the law to keep your children out of school to work to help the family out.
Were people in Africa patriotic. Yes. They loved their country, and it was beautiful. There was an abundance of fresh fruit in Nigeria--avocados, bananas, pineapple, mangoes and so much more. We enjoyed our time there.
In my country:
Let's do all in our power to keep our country beautiful, make it a better place to live, and preserve the freedoms that we enjoy for our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and ourselves. Ben Carson said, "I already won the lottery. I was born in America and know the Lord". I agree. Those of you who live in different countries probably feel the same as those living in America. You love your country. We are all truly blessed.
Whoever you are, and wherever you live, you have the right to be happy. Government is meant to be for the people, not for the leaders. We should do all in our power to help things in our world run smoothly, and never forget that others have the same rights we have.
Do you have a great story about this? Share it!