So we just had celebrated a wonderful holiday, the Fourth of July. As I’ve mentioned before, I write these in advance and originally I was going to write an article about how it’s important to eat and identify signs of eating disorders or disordered eating.
But I chose something else.
I chose to say this:
I love this country.
When I was a couple years younger, it was encouraged throughout my age demographic to hate this country. Heavily criticizing, hating, complaining, and outwardly sharing negativity about America was encouraged. I don’t know really what started it or how it became cool to hate the country you live in, especially when it’s as good as the USA, but it did come around and I realized that all my friends were on board with hating the country too.
At the time, it didn’t bother me at all.
Why not speak against the country? The politicians? The history? The everything about America?
After all, it sucks right?
Then the 2016 elections happened and it just seemed to push everyone in that direction.
Yes! America is awful. We have a terrible system. Horrible education. Horrible laws, amendments, etc. We have no morals. We are a wild, horrible people. Other countries hate us. And now TRUMP is in office? Perfect. We’re evil. Corrupt. Racist. The worst of the worst.
And, surprisingly enough, it was everyone bashing Trump over and over and over that suddenly woke me up. Why am I like this? Why am I partaking in this?
And then…then I thought of something.
I live in a country where I can loudly and openly voice my discontent while others are out there dying for the face of this country. Dying for it.
You can believe that didn’t sit well with me. People are willing to die for this country. People are dying for this country. People have died for this country. And I’m over here thinking it’s the worst place in the world.
What right do I have to say that?
Oh, right. The first amendment. That’s my right.
Of course, that made me feel worse. The first amendment to the Constitution protects my right to say whatever I want even if it is directly defacing the country. Even if it’s uneducated, inaccurate, and biased by past experiences and the sway of society, I can spread whatever words I want around. I can speak ill of my country with a megaphone on the street and that same country will protect my rights.
We’re young and we’ve done so much good. We’ve explored, we’ve gone to the moon. We’ve adapted and listened as best we can to people. We’ve upheld our freedoms, stood by our morals, and been the center for creation for a lot of different things. Innocent until proven guilty.
Even if we don’t agree with the outcomes, the practice is good. On paper, it is good.
It was so so naive of my to expect my country to be the perfect reflection of my ideals.
This is important to everyone reading this, there’s something I read in my freshman year of high school that messed me up.
It was John Locke’s interpretation of freedom. And if you haven’t read his and Thomas Hobbes philosophies on democracy, freedom, and government, you ought to. Our country was founded on it.
Anyway, he said something along the lines of to have freedom the way we do, we have to sacrifice some of our freedoms. So if someone kills my daughter, I can’t take their punishment into my hands. I have to trust in the system to find them guilty. I sacrifice some of my freedoms to the government so that I can have protection and order. A world where we each have our own freedoms is not a good one; it’s chaotic.
Now, I know what you might be thinking. This country has fallen to shambles! It’s terrible! I hate the leadership!
Okay. That’s your opinion, your feelings, and they’re valid. You can feel that way and express your opinion. But I have some things to counter your point.
Where else would you live? What country is better, to and for you? (I’m not saying America is the best, but I am saying do serious, actual research into other countries…especially the ones that seem perfect).
Why are you so mad? Are you doing anything to help it? Is it based off personal problems and experiences?
Now here’s the big part and it’s a two-parter:
1.What benefits are you reaping that you would find nowhere else?
2.Do you understand that we are in a great time of change, like always, and we are working to change everything?
Let’s look at that second point.
We are humans. Leaders are humans. They have biases like everyone. They have history like everyone. And they are doing what they feel is right. Whether or not you think it is right is another issue, one that voting reflects.
People are tired of political corruption, which is a huge reason why Hilary Clinton didn’t make it. But that’s a different issue.
One of the main cornerstones of our country is “A pursuit of happiness” and I don’t think that sitting and stewing in our anger follows that.
So I have a request for you, each of you. Even if you really are pissed at the way things are going, I want you to try and follow the constitution.
Pursue happiness. Treat everyone as equal. Have open and kind conversations about laws and rights and be open to change, even if you don’t necessarily like it. Consent of the governed is a big deal. If you aren’t a fan of how things are changing, it’s up to you to speak with people and influence them in a positive way.
But please, please reconsider hating this country.
This is a beautiful, passionate country. Yes, things get a little messed up and mistakes are bound to be made. But the country is a great one. We don’t need to “Make it great again”. We need to be kind and recognize it is a strong country with good values. Just because the details aren’t explicitly written out doesn’t make this country the son of the Devil.
It’s up to us to change the details and the politics of this country and we will make headway towards our goals. Why? Because we are a strong, passionate, open people. Start trying to represent that. Let your mind grow up a little bit.
You can hate the politicians. You can hate the politics. But please, don’t hate the country. What it is, has been, and will try to be. Offer love and let’s see what happens.