Thankful for America

Arielle - Harrisonburg, Virginia
Entered on September 22, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: gratitude

When you live in one place for most of your life it is hard to realize what you have to be thankful for in living there because you don’t know anything else. I had never really felt the need to verbally defend my country to other people because everyone around me had always been American. When I moved to Israel, I went to American International School that had American embassy, Israeli, and other international embassy students. As I listened to other’s opinions of my country. I began to ask myself what it was that made America so great? However, I can confidently now say that I believe America is a great country and I believe that we as Americans should be thankful for it.

One thing that America has is a general value for justice and fairness. I found that Israel lacked this trait. I knew an Israeli couple who had signed a contract for buying house. A few days later, they discovered that the sellers had decided to sell the house to another couple that would buy it for more money. It took a lot of hard work on the their lawyer’s part to work out the situation because Israeli culture is so much used to bending rules. In America, there are procedures that must be followed in these sorts of situations, but many of these seemed to only be in writing in Israel. Also, in Israel there are a good amount of Jewish people who believe that Jesus is the messiah, calling themselves Messianic Jews. Radical religious Jews do not like Messianic Jews because they believe differently. At one point, a radical religious jewish group left a package with a bomb in it that blew up when a the Messianic Jewish boy living there opened it. The detectives and police investigated the event, but dropped it for reasons unknown. It was the American embassy that picked up the investigation. I am thankful to be living in a country where I can practice my religion freely.

I believe people should also be more thankful for the safe haven that America is. We have such a peaceful little bubble here. We can ride buses without worrying that the person getting on with us may blow us up. We can safely cross from state to state without worrying that a wall will separate us because the government can’t figure out which one of us is a terrorist and which one is a civilian. By no means do I think America is a perfect country and I think one of the best things about the country is that we are allowed to not like it. I am not giving a pitch for a presidential candidate or even for a political party. I am just saying we have a great country here and I believe we should be absolutely thankful to live in America.