In 1963, musical group Jay and the Americans climbed the music charts with a song titled, "Only in America," a song boasting of America being the land of opportunity, where even a poor boy could find love.
I've expressed pride in this country in this form of the media many times. My father and father-in-law both served in the military of this country to help preserve the freedoms of this country and to help other countries escape tyranny, dictatorship, and communism in other parts of the world.
I've always felt this is the greatest country in the world. It irks me to see people's "matter of fact" or casual attitude during the playing of our national anthem, and irritates me when that song is sung in a variety of unique ways totally different from the way it was written, and I still get chills whenever I hear Lee Greenwood's rendition of "God Bless the U.S.A." This being said, at times, it is frustrating for many try to maintain a high level of patriotism with what is happening around us today.
We boast of freedom of speech in this country, yet it seems that a lot of the time, it appears we believe in freedom of speech only if what is spoken is something with which we agree. We've created laws that can't be enforced because of the lack of personnel to enforce them. We treat some people who commit crimes better than the people who are victimized by them. We look the other way for some people who commit illegal and/or immoral transgressions, yet punish others.
We reward many who don't seem to have done anything to earn that reward. There are companies, businesses, and individuals who could be considered deceptive in the way they conduct business and the way they treat customers. One of the most outrageous things in the news recently is the report which stated that our Olympic athletes will have to pay taxes on prizes based on the medals they won in the Olympic Games. I don't know about you, but I enjoyed watching the Olympics and found myself cheering on our American athletes from my recliner chair, sometimes as if I was in the crowd in London, wanting to join in the rhythmic chant of "USA, USA!"
And now, I find out that these amazing athletes, who sacrificed so much to get to where they are, whose families had to sacrifice so much to help those athletes get to this place in their life, have to realize that because then won, they'll have to pay taxes on their accomplishments? Something seems out of whack with all of this!
For a country that has been involved in military conflicts in its history, and has put the defense of our country and cities, and our freedoms on the shoulders of those who serve in the military, and on our city streets, we seem to forget about those persons after their service is over. There seem to be some inadequacies in what we do for our veterans. Something seems out of whack with this!
We're in the midst of a presidential election campaign. We're proud to have a democratic form of government in this country, but it's my belief that the "two party" system of government has created a "Jets versus Sharks" (West Side Story) attitude. For too many years now, it doesn't seem elected officials are treating each other as fellow Americans, as much as they express the attitude of "we" (Republicans/Democrats) and "they" (Democrats/Republicans) rather than looking at all people as "us" (Americans). Election campaigns have shifted from the, "Here's why you should vote for me" campaign to the, "Here's why you shouldn't vote for my opponent" campaign. Something seems out of whack with this!
We boast of freedom of religion in this country, yet prayer has been taken out of schools, the Ten Commandments have been taken off of walls of government buildings, and campaigns have been launched to try to have "under God" taken from the Pledge of Allegiance. There have been protests of the use of the words Christmas and Easter in the celebration of holidays, yet we stand by the right of freedom of religion. Something seems out of whack with this!
In this country, we can sign agreements which will guarantee us wages, certain working conditions, services, etc., yet far too many times, many try to get out of those agreements, or fail to honor them without a renegotiation before the duration of said agreement has been completed, or want different working conditions, or special considerations made for them or someone they know, before the agreement is up. We are afforded the luxury to make purchases with credit, which includes the repayment of the credit by the consumer, yet far too many times the repayment is not made (apathetically, not necessarily because of need), which causes others to have to pay through higher rates, premiums, etc., for the irresponsibility of those who agreed to the terms upon "borrowing" but reneged later on. Something seems out of whack with this!
If we want to continue to profess that we are the greatest country in the world, and I still believe we are, some of these examples of what seems to be "out of whack" need to be straightened out. The chants of "USA, USA" shouldn't just come about every two years during the Olympic Games, but should be echoed on a daily basis. We need to get back to practicing what we profess. When that happens we won't have to doubt that we are the greatest country in the world.