Each Week Elleinadspir, A Place to Share and I will be working our way through the Listography 2011 Bookwith a rotating Link Part-tay! To find the list of the years topics, check out the Listography Link above. Today's Topic: List why You Love Your Country
For me one of the unexpected side benefits of studying abroad was that I learned how to be an American. I know that sounds strange, but I grew up in the liberal Bay Area where there is so much diversity of culture that it was really hard to say what was "American" or not. Before I went abroad, I saw politics as the definition of our country but now I see the US as so much more than policymakers decisions.
Here's why I love the US:
- First off? Because it's my home. After the Haiti earthquake, so many people turned to me and said "Why don't they leave?" And I said "Because it's their home!" Most people love their home country, I'm no exception.
- Public School System: I'm sure lots of people are going to think this is a weird one but hear me out. Even though our school system has massive failures we still have a lot to be proud of. In most of Latin America only the poorest of children go to public schools because the education quality is so bad, and many times it is a major burden on their families because they are not provided with free textbooks. One of my best friends teaches in the lowest-income schools in Sacramento. She works her ass off for those kids ever year and there are thousands of teachers across the nation who do the same. Our public school system is one of the reasons that our ever-widening wealth disparity is not greater. It is something to protect and be proud of instead of fleeing for private education.
- Freedom of Speech: Duh
- Diversity: I grew up in immigrant households, not just with my family but with the families of my friends. The country I studied abroad in was very homogeneous, it was an interesting experience but I missed being around lots of different kinds of people. I need my tacos people.
- Democracy: I went to China back in 2008. It was an amazing experience but it was also the first time I'd been to a non-democratic country. The lack of power that people had over their lives in terms of choosing how large their family was to be and what religion they chose to practice was truly alarming to me. I'm grateful that I have the right to make those choices for myself.
- Produce: I love that I can go to the farmer's market, pick up good produce and a reasonable price, wash it and feel 99% certain that I am not going to get food borne illness. lt's a luxury that the US provides for me everyday.
How about you? What do you like about your home country? I've got the link!