Sunday, November 27, 2011

What do we really think of America?

I recently had the opportunity to speak at length to a physician who was a native of Pakistan but had been in this country for the last 15 years. It was a really interesting conversation. Especially with the sticky situation we have had with Pakistan as a country.
I asked him if he would ever go back "home" to live. He said no, that this is home. His wife is also from Pakistan, but their children have all been born here. He loves Pakistan, but is very passionate about the United States and all the reasons it's a great country. And his reasons are ones that I think we take for granted. At least I know I do.
He said we have so much opportunity here. That truly people can get an education her, if they are motivated. And with that education can really change their lives. He said that where he is from, people are so incredibly hungry for an education that they go to any lengths to obtain one. He said he did some of his training in Newark, N.J. and was shocked to find people seemingly content to stay in reduced circumstances and not really striving to change. He said that we are so used to opportunity here, that we take it for granted.
He said it was also amazing to him how diverse our cultures were within the country and yet we were all still united as Americans. He has worked with the Amish, people in inner cities, Indian reservations and in spite of all of our differences, we can all be united. I like that a lot. Unity can do almost anything.

Another point that he made,was that a child can show up in an emergency room and have injuries. This child has no voice and cannot speak up and protect themselves. He said the fact that there is an agency in the government that will step in, investigate and protect this individual with no voice is really amazing. When he tells people back in his home country of this, they are amazed. Again, it never occured to me to think of CPS or Adult Protective Services as truly unique.

I was very moved by our conversation and felt very grateful for my country. And as I am trying to pay special attention to gratitude this month, I thought it fitting to say something about it. What are you grateful for in our country or your country?


Cynthia said...

There really are a lot of things we take for granted. It does amaze me that we have educational opportunities that are taken for granted. I remember being shocked at the students in my class decades ago that dropped out of school our senior year of high school.
Great topic. You really made me think about things I take for granted.

Cathy said...

Ditto! It's good to be reminded of all those things! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!