being american.

The July 4th blogs are filled with patriotism and fireworks and recipes for family gatherings! How can I allow the day to pass  by without a bit of reflection on the blessings I feel as an American?  Every single person may have their own perspective on what it means to them…and the good old Lee Greenwood song “…proud to be an American” seems to sum it up for many.

Yet on this holiday…at this particular stage in my life…here are just a few reasons that I am grateful…

Education…it is free here in this country…and we are constantly striving to figure it out.  From “No Child Left Behind” to the “Read Well by Third Grade” campaign and the “Response to Intervention” or “Multi-Tiered Systems of Support”, you gotta admit, we are always trying something new!  We have not yet figured it all out, with the crazy issues facing the various American socioeconomic groups and English Language Learners and children with severe disabilities…but darn it, we are trying!  New initiatives are always popping up and teacher incentives are being considered to raise the bar on student achievement.  It may not be perfect, but I am proud to be part of a nation that sees the value in teaching a child.

Religion…as a nation founded by our Christian forefathers, and open to the diversity of beliefs of others, I am truly fortunate to be able to worship Jesus and to have choices in how I do that.  I can find a traditional service with hymns and rituals, or a rocking worship band and a bible preaching pastor that help me apply the ancient lessons to my life. I can meet in a local coffee shop to discuss what I believe and I can carry a bible in my purse if I choose. How cool is that?

Choices as a woman…I can speak my mind, I can challenge others in their thinking.  I can educate myself to the highest levels I want. I can choose to marry or not…to have children or not.  I can work full time or choose not to. I have options and choices and the right to reach for my dreams. And I can raise my daughter to believe these things too. Pretty sweet place to live.

As most of you know, I love to travel.  The world IS quite amazing…and yet, I am proud to call America my home.

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