America: Just a few thoughts from the viewpoint of a human being

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After what seemed like a never-ending presidential campaign, I have finally reached a point of wanting to write.  Rest assured, my fellow Americans…I have no soap box to stand upon for the purpose of this address.   Reading or writing a blog about politics sounds like a fun idea for approximately zero seconds.

I once dated a guy who turned out to be racist.  Wish they had forehead stamps for these kind of subhumans, but he was quickly discarded after I heard a racial slur, where upon I expressed my disgust and attempted to explain that using that particular word made him look more ignorant than anyone he was referring to.   Still not getting it, he launched into a hateful rant about immigrants and basically how uneducated and white trash he is.  Oooh shit!  Did I just say ‘white trash?’  Anyway, I realized this guy had years ahead of him before/if he ever changed.  The last thing we argued about was his American ‘pride.’

Idiot:  “America is the best.”

Me:  “That’s dumb.   We are not the best.  No one is ‘the best’, we’re humans divided by water.”

Idiot:  “OUR COUNTRY IS THE BEST.”

congratulations-idiot

Every time I hear an ‘America is the best country in the world’ statement, it’s almost always coming from an individual wearing camoflauge (but not military) or some other unattractive ensemble — “the guy perusing the guns and ammo section in Walmart” look.

I love my country, but I also believe this ‘the best’ attitude is nothing but trouble.   We are as flawed and just as imperfect as other establishments.  Imagine my shock upon learning why Native Americans receive housing and education benefits.  The sugarcoated chapters in our  grade-school history books did nothing but reinforce the ‘we can do no wrong’ attitude.  Where has it gotten us?

An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.  –Orlando A. Battista

It’s a big, beautiful world.  Through my job appointment, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet people from almost every country –Mongolia, Russia, Kenya, Mauritania, Turkey, Gabon, Philippines, Indonesia, Congo, Tanzania, Morocco, Peru, Uganda, Ghana, Burundi, Samoa, Marshall Islands, Mozambique….   I’d coordinate their application for US-based workshops offered by our organization, and often assist them throughout their stay.  During the Clinton years, our workshops flourished.  Things changed when Bush came into office; I can’t tell you how many flustered conversations I’ve witnessed between the staff and our international friends regarding the different image.  Then,  after 9-11, processing foreign visitors changed drastically and our workshops were discontinued.

My experience working in the international field taught some lasting lessons.  The most lasting:  despite different languages, histories, and backgrounds–we are not that different at all.   For example:  workshops were concluded with a closing ceremony.   Visitors from Kenya usually brought a bottle of  vodka, Russians:  brought a bottle of vodka (they hold a special place in my heart.), Mongolians and Uzbekistanians supplied a darker liquor such as Hennessey (I did not know it was a ‘sipping’ liquor.  imagine my embarrassment after downing the shot glass all at once following the toast.. dear god!)  Chinese guests often brought intricate ornaments and art, as did our Egyptian visitors.  The Ukrainians bestowed me with their fine baked goods.  And my friends from Micronesia (what up!!!!)…introduced me to “betle nut,” a tropical nut, which according to Wikipedia “is a social pastime as a means to extend friendship.”    (Side note: Actually though, betle nut chewing was an experience throughout the visit, and not limited to the closing ceremony)

Betel chewing has been claimed to produce a sense of well-being, euphoria, heightened alertness, sweating, salivation, a hot sensation in the body and increased capacity to work.
Betel chewing has been claimed to produce a sense of well-being, euphoria, heightened alertness, sweating, salivation, a hot sensation in the body and increased capacity to work.

Hells yeah.

Damn  I miss those islanders…they certainly know how to make the most of a long day at the office.

I digress….. yes there’s evil out there…but throughout the world…we are a people who love to laugh, celebrate, and see what life has in store.  So–save the competition for the Olympics.  Wouldnt it be nice if we tried to co-exist instead of prove something?

BONO
Wrapping this blog up with a little ONE LOVE style: Bono


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Bill Howdle says:

    Excellent post. I hope in time we can all come to realize, people are people. The only difference between us is a little geography, our physical location. None are better, none are worse or lesser. Lines drawn on a map separating countries shouldn’t separate people or at least not our recognition of each other as being just other people. Simple as that.
    Good job
    Bill

  2. Paulino says:

    Great post, but I gotta ask: Did you really enjoy betel nut? On Guam, we call it Pugua[poo-gwa] and it is really popular with the locals. I really don’t get why people chew it, it’s essentially nature’s dip, w/o the buzz.

  3. 79sparrows says:

    Hi Paulino!

    Thanks for visiting the site. 🙂
    No I didnt enjoy betel nut/Pugua (thanks for the new lingo!) anywhere near the way the islanders enjoyed it! hehe. I gave it a shot though. Maybe it’s one of those things that get better with time?
    I worked with 2 or 3 guys from Guam, I love the laid back attitude. 🙂

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