On a day to day basis there are countless opportunities to complain about the life that we live. The rules aren't fair, the laws are stupid, the amount of money we have to pay is too much (of course 'the rent is too damn high'), our boyfriend/girlfriend isn't doing what we want, things aren't working out, we've lost our spirituality... You know. Everything.
If you haven't ever heard of Bill Gates' Laws of Life for Spoiled Teenagers... you can view it here. Guess what rule number 1 is? You guessed it: Life isn't fair. Get used to it!
It takes a long time to accept this. Given the stressful environment I work in, where everything is expected to be perfect and pretty much must be perfect, and everyone complains. All the time. It kinda gets old... but that's okay. Someone asked me the other day why I was so quiet this year. I shrugged, and just said, it doesn't make sense to complain. This is my job. I've found that it's much easier to just roll with things instead of fighting it all the time. You gotta pick your fights -- the ones that actually are worth fighting are generally not in the work environment; unless you are trying to literally save your job.
All this bibble babble is leading somewhere, and, as per the usual, I have succeeded in rambling up to a somewhat distinct point far in the distance. No worries kids, there is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel! The focus here is freedom.
There's this guy at work named Ernesto. He's a real interesting guy -- doesn't know where he is actually from or where he was born. But he knows English, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. Perhaps quadrilingual is the right term? Of course I could be just making up words... But he was talking with me one day, specifically about how someone was complaining left and right about how the laws weren't fair, despite the fact they had snuck in the country, are paying no taxes, and have a job, earning a living to give their family a future. He literally said, "I told them, 'fuck you!'"
He went on to explain that this country is the thing that he loves most. He loves that he even has a job, is able to work and support himself, raise a family, and even have some money left over for luxuries in life. He loves seeing the flag waving, and is so proud to sing our national anthem.
I talked to him about how I've thought about moving overseas to another country... and he said that no matter what, I would never find a better country than this one, with more opportunities, or variance in experiences. It made me sort of rethink all of the things we take for granted here. Sure, our government is probably seriously screwed up. Politicians lie -- I've always really believed that. You can't win when you elect people, only choose the lesser of two evils. But if we look past the real troubling things, there is a great deal of good in this country. And in the end?
I'm proud to be an American.