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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Independence Day Wish


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Here are my son and my nephew huddled with matches, risking life and limb (just kidding) to light our family's fireworks at the lake Sunday night.

The little display in the sky is about the level of enthusiasm I feel patriotically right now. I am happy to live in the United States, don't get me wrong. I lived in a less developed country for three years (Turkey). I appreciate convenience, availability of goods, democracy, freedom. I really do. I lived at another level in a place where telephone service was limited and stores were not open 24/7. But did I suffer? No. I actually suffered a bit returning to the States. I was overwhelmed by Choice, Glitz, Money. How long and how much for that ABC Monday Nite Football video extravanganza, for goodness' sake??

I'm embarrassed by the desire our current president has to control parts of the world. I understand it's about "our interests." But come on, the New American Century? How much hubris is that?

I don't want to start a political debate. I just want to state here, for the record, that on this Independence Day, I wish we were not at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. I wish we were not playing a missile game with North Korea. (As if THEY don't have the right to defend themselves when countries like ours are attacking countries we perceive as a threat without them attacking us.) I wish each of us would take responsibility for our own life and realize it is what I do that will matter. I have to think and live my life. I wish so many things, but I also wish to be at peace with things AS THEY ARE. I'm not waiting for things to change (even though I hope they will).

I get to say these things, because this is my blog. I hope I have not put a wall up between me and you. It's not important. It doesn't really matter in the long run. I just have to say it today.

23 comments:

Rauf said...

Its your blog Ruth, and you have the freedom to say anything you like and you have the right to comment on other blogs. Blogs are meant for healthy debates.

Even I do not want to atart a political debate, I have so much to say on the subject. At any given time one civilisation or one part of the world has always dominated. Alexander wanted to conquor the whole world. so did the Germans French Portugese spanish Japanese. Chinese invaded India twice recently. Indians are happy sitting where they are fighting among themselves. What I want to convey is American attitude is nothing new in history.
It is indeed sad that American administration has total disregard for its citizens wishes.

Hope all your wishes come true Ruth.

Rauf said...

How can I forget the British Ruth ?
they were proud of saying 'Sun never sets in the British Empire'
they were all over the world, and of course you celeberated 4th of July which marked their departure.

lesleyanne said...

i'm glad that you said something meaningful this fourth of july fireworks day. for i certainly felt no need. except only to share in my happiness to spend a day with those i love dearly.
i wish i coud have spent it with you too.
i am so lucky to be born in this country, a healthy independent woman, with parents and a brother so supportive and loving.

please always say what's in your heart. it's all that matters.

love.
your daughter [[listening to joni mitchell]]

Mei Shile said...

There is no wall and I have nothing to add. I didn't live as long as you did in another country but I went to China in 1985 and few days in Hungary in 1986. When coming back, a lot of things in my environment had just become superflous fluff for me and I had misery to deal with. I am an adept of simplicité volontaire (dunno how you call it in English). I prefer not to add about your country. As a Canadian, I have a love-hate relationship with it. I am just happy that we're not in Iraq. But we're in Afghanistan and this I would prefer not. I am for social-democracy (best compromise between capitalism and communism IMO) but look at what we elected this winter: a party whose idol is your Republican Party.

Mrs. M. said...

Of course no wall...to assess the weaknesses and challenge the status quo is actually quite in the spirit that birthed our country...in a round-about way, Ruth, you embrace patriotism!

This summer I have been reading McCullough's book on John Adams. He is underated in his place in history--my respect for him grows with each page I read, and I cannot recommend it enough.

I do not think the "traitors of His Majesty" 230 years ago would support many decisions ALL branches of our government have made in recent years.

Heather said...

Great photo, Ruth. On this 4th of July I am grateful for Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, which happily shows the dysfunction of our country, pokes fun at its leaders, and makes me a much more fun person to be around--that and Paxil.

Seriously, though. I totally agree with you. One of my students came to class last night with a photo of her daughter from the 4th, her left eye red and swollen. Her husband had let off a firecracker that exploded near her daughter's eye! I said nothing, but I was thinking. "Ah, this great country of ours filled with ignorant yokels who don't seem to understand that you don't shoot firecrackers with your 3 year-old!"

Ruth said...

Rauf, what gets me is that all of it seems so anachronistic now (the whole "sun never sets" thing), and to be surrounded by it still boggles my mind. So many of us are ready to move away from this mentality, hopefully our presence will help evolve that way.

Ruth said...

Lesley, I wish you could have been with us too. It was so nice that you had N & N to get together with. And we got to talk every day! I love you.

Ruth said...

Mei, I like your perspective. Voluntary simplicity (is there another English term?) is admirable. It's important to LIVE what we believe, and I respect that greatly. I try, but I don't always live with integrity.

Ruth said...

Mrs. M, thank you for the book recommendation. I would like to check that out. I agree with you that the gentlemen who kicked off this whole democratic experiment were pretty radical guys and might cringe at where some of this has gone.

Ruth said...

Heather, why don't people think??

I do appreciate Jon Stewart's show, among others, because he can be respectful while poking fun and really looking at something objectively.

Peter said...

John Mayer expresses your same feelings in a new song from his upcoming album:

http://www.myspace.com/johnmayer

thehealingroom said...

Dear Ruth,
I just wanted to add my voice here in saying. "Yea for self expression and honesty".
I am a dual citizen of the US and Canada, so I feel tied to both in some ways.
Jon Stewart is the Best! I think most of his funny comments are actually Common Sense!
Its time to let go of our dark-ages-ways and move into a new, enlightened mentality.
I don't think what you said, Ruth, was disrespectful at all. Lets speak out as we see it.
(Feeling encouraged because your daughter listens to Joni Mitchell)

thehealingroom said...

should read:
" was NOT disrespectful at all........"

Ruth said...

Peter, I like the song, and I understand and relate to the helplessness. I just want to do more than wait. Do you think JM does too?

Ruth said...

Healing Room, you wrote it right but must have re-read it quickly! :) You said it perfectly. Yes, my daughter's (and son's) love for Joni is encouraging.

We have to keep thinking and creating, and it will make a difference. Singers, artists, writers -- we can make a difference.

thehealingroom said...

oh, yes, you're right.
Please feel free to delete these last 2 comments as not to confuse(to be impeccable)

rachel said...

I was once in a club in Mexico, dancing my head off- when someone came up to me and asked where I was from. I told him from the USA- and he said, "No, you're not American, you're from somewhere else." This is one of the nicest complements I have ever received. He didn't mean from another country, but from a special place that can't be named.

Swede and I were talking about the book of Revelations- and about all of the other prophesies that have come to fruition. We concluded that part of the reason that all of these things have occurred is because people heard the prophesy and chose to make it happen.

So, I have an idea for a new book of Revelations. It would make prophesies such as, "One day the trees will replenish the earth, the air will be fresh and clear. You will be able to drink from the rivers and streams, and no longer will the skies be filled with smog. Wars will cease to exist, people will travel freely with no fear of harm, and by working together, the needs of all will be met."

What if someone influential with a voice far-reaching were to make a prophesy like that. Would the people choose to make it come true as they have all of the destructive prophesies?

Ginnie said...

I really don't have anything to add to this, Ruth, since you and others have said it all, but I am SO glad you gave your voice for the rest of us who haven't said the same thing (yet) in our own posts. You said everything so perfectly! Thank you.

Ruth said...

Rachel, thank you for your prophecy. I am learning to believe that we do create the world around us. Why are we quick to believe we can destroy, but not that we can create?

Ruth said...

Ginnie, thank you for your affirmation. I actually had trouble posting this, blogger wasn't cooperating, and it looked as though it wasn't republished at 100%. So I didn't think it "took." I wondered if the Cosmos wasn't letting it be. But then when I got online yesterday, there it was. I don't like putting my perspective in people's faces.

Tricia said...

Just to let you know that St. Coleman's Cathedral in Cobh is in fact very Catholic. However there is one Protestant Chruch in Rushbrook, Cobh. Just thought I'd let you know!

Ruth said...

Tricia, thank you very much for the info! I'll change in on the post. Either I was misinformed (by one of our own profs) or I just remembered it very wrong. Probably the latter.