Saturday, April 23, 2011

David Gergen

I was on my personal twitter account today (I have three) and read a question from David Gergen.

He asked what are you thankful for? That is a great question and one that I think most people could not put in 140 characters.  It is also worthy of some thought.

My response was my family, friends and a country that allows me to follow dreams and pursue opportunities.

Allow me to reflect on the last phrase. This one struck me as particularly relevant given the recent international events.  People in countries rising up to declare we want a more inclusive country. Using tools developed in the U.S. (i.e. Twitter) citizens are saying we want a better way of life for us and our children.  They are fighting for a better country.

What do they want?  Much of what we in the U.S. take for granted. That would include rule of law, education, ability to pursue opportunity, worship (or not) in the religious church of your choice, peaceful transition of new leadership, participate (or not) in the political process, and the chance to follow dreams.  Now understand, this is just my take.

As Peggy Noonan pointed out in today's Wall Street Journal, you can get pretty depressed if you base your idea of the U.S. on what is shown on TV.  She has an excellent point. So many channels and networks put on shows that would indeed appear to dumb down quality.  Perhaps that is a reflection of numerous choices and the ability of networks to segment viewers.  I certainly question much of what is on. To this date I have not seen a reality show.

If you accept the previous paragraph, it is a reflection on just how innovative and diverse this country is.  As a country, I think it also reflects how tolerant we are. That should be celebrated.  Just remember, not all innovation is good.

Every Easter we celebrate the sacrifice by the Son of God that allows all to enrich their life, if they so choose. In the U.S. I can choose who I celebrate with, how I celebrate, and where I celebrate. Perhaps equally important, I will suffer no persecution or scorn. That in itself should be appreciated.  So many people in the world do not have any of those options.

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