In another installment of Insightful Saturdays…
So, with Donald Trump in the lead for the GOP candidate, more people endorsing him every day, and the awfulness of this country in general, I thought to myself “There has to be better than this!” I thought “We can’t be the only free country, right?”
Now, I don’t pretend to know a whole hell of a lot about politics and world economics or anything close to it. I don’t like politics and I don’t know enough about it to make educated arguments against one or the other political parties. But I do know how I feel and I do get a sense of when things just aren’t right. And there’s a whole lot of wrong going on in this country. Especially, speaking as a Black woman in this country. When you’re low man on the totem pole, the world looks a lot differently down here as opposed to being the king of the world up top.
I’ve always wanted to travel around the globe. I’ve already lived in Japan, visited Vietnam and Taipei, Taiwan. Though now, my main goal is to get to Europe and visit the countries there. But when I say travel, I’m talking about a very unconventional way of traveling. I’m talking about living in the places I want to visit for 3-4 months at a time and then move on to the next place. I’m a writer, so doing this could be possible as long as my books generate enough income for me to do it, which is not the case as of yet. One can hope and dream.
Anyway, the reason for my need to travel this way is because I’m looking for my “forever home”. And you cannot get a feel for a place as a forever home by just going on a week long trip there. You have to be there for months and spend time with the locals to get a feel for everyday life. For instance, Japan. Japan is a lovely country with wonderful traditions and amazingly sweet people. But it is not somewhere I want to live for the rest of my life and I would have never known that, had I not lived there for a year.
But before you make plans to move or visit anywhere, you kinda want to know what you’re dealing with. So we constantly hear in the U.S. that we’re the best. We’re the land of the free and the home of the brave. People always make it sound like we’re the best country in the world, which is why we’re always trying to keep immigrants out. Well…STOP DRINKING THE DAMN KOOL-AID!!! We are not the best nor the freest. Maybe we gave other countries the idea (I’m not really sure, since I’m not a history buff either. I think it actually might have been the Greeks that came up with democracy, but whatever), but in the years we’ve been pounding our chests and proclaiming that we’re the best, other countries have actually been steadily climbing up and surpassed us. And without the majority of us even paying attention to how it even happened. Just take a look at this article from August of 2015: http://dailycaller.com/2015/08/18/united-states-drops-in-overall-freedom-ranking/ We’re ranked number freaking 20 on the list!!! WTF!
Just look at this map:
Eighty-nine countries are free!!! Well, according to this map from Wikipedia (So it might not be completely factual, but based on the articles I’ve read, it’s pretty damn close).
Or how about this map:
In blue are all the countries you can vote in! Say what?!?
Please, don’t get me wrong. I love my country. But I think of it kinda like living in my parents’ house or my hometown. You raised me, you taught me well and gave me my values. But I’m older now. I’ve grown up and seen behind the curtain. I can see that I don’t agree with everything you believe in and I have my own opinions about the world now. So I thank you for making me into the person I am today, but it is time for me to see what else the world has to offer me. It’s time to leave the nest, but don’t worry, I’ll be back to visit.
So, I don’t know about you guys, but you can keep on drinking the Kool-aid they’ve been force-feeding us. I, myself, plan on getting the hell outta dodge the minute I can afford it. There has to be something better out there. And if not, maybe I’ll learn to appreciate my country more through my travels. At this stage, though…I doubt it.