Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Take another look

This is not really meant to be a political post, so if you take it that way, well, it's on you.

Last night I somehow managed to take in two PBS documentaries in two hours as I worked on a knitting project. One was a Frontline documentary about the Afghan front and the complicated role that Pakistan is playing right now. The other was on Saddam Hussein's trial and execution. It was very sobering, to say the least, watching our troops taking fire, seeing people who live in small huts in freezing temperatures in the Afghan mountains, hearing about families tortured by Saddam's regime or gunned down accidentally in a war zone, and even witnessing the entire execution of Saddam Hussein (yes, they showed it on television).

Today I sit typing this missive on a home computer hooked up to the Internet in my warm home while a batch of turkey meatballs is cooking in the oven, my son sleeps in his own bedroom and I have choices and opportunities in my life that others can only imagine. I can work part time to help support my family and still be the primary caretaker for our son. We can save our money to purchase whatever we want or save it for a rainy day. We own two or three televisions and appliances that are less than a year old, have decent furnishings throughout our home, can afford food, running water and electricity, and have three working, paid-for vehicles. And I can go to the polls to vote my conscience without fear of retribution.

With the picture of America that some state and national candidates paint, one can easily forget how fortunate we are. And while I personally find Phil Gramm rather odious, there really is a grain of truth to his assessment that the recession is mental and we've "sort of become a nation of whiners." (I agree with the comment, but not the delivery. The PR professional in me knows there is a much better way to get that point across.)

And I know there are people in this country who can't pay their mortgage or don't have health insurance or are going bankrupt from medical bills or have lost their jobs. All I'm trying to say here is that we're more fortunate than we believe because when Americans hit rock bottom, at least there's a ladder.

1 comment:

Mary Ellen said...

Great post! ITA