Thank your lucky stars! You live in the USA, no matter how many little cuts and bruises have to be treated with band-aids and anti-infection agents on a daily basis. Watching television today one would think, no matter what channels you click on, that life in the USA is just a rolling nightmare of crummy, illegal, corrupt and hurtful acts by all of the leadership at one time or another.

That’s crap, of course, but sometimes you have to go abroad to get a little better perspective on how neat it is to live in the USA. Take Ahrens, Germany. In Ahrens, this family failed to pay its taxes, property, and income. Ahrens officials came in and sold everything they had, including everything they owned, all personal property. Everything. Then these same officials sat and pondered because the family still owed the government money. So, the officials went back and took the family dog. They sold the dog on eBay for $850. This kind of stuff is why you want to “take a knee” to God and then stand tall for the flag of the USA. We don’t do that kind of awful Ahrens, Germany thing in the USA. Criminal acts happen, that is true, and we have the police and military and more for stuff like that. Yes, the IRS can attach your wages and bank account for back taxes…but the IRS does not take your beloved family dog and sell it, not and survive the wrath of an inflamed public that would not stand for it. That takes a throwback German perspective to not only do but remain undisturbed about doing it.

In spite of how strangely strange the nation’s current leader conducts himself, and the business of administering to the country’s needs, the USA continues to dominate the world when it comes to innovation, economics, science, education and military might. Few American’s lose sleep at night because of fears that the country will be overthrown, and very few live behind barred windows or triple locked doors, which is standard in most other parts of the world. Small wars, the niche hot thing of modern times, continue to be fought, but at such a distance that the combat is seldom mentioned by a media, now converted over from presenting westerns, dramas, thrillers, mystery and crime to specializing almost totally on reality politics. That news, once presented because the three networks were forced to devote limited portions of time to presenting it, has replaced most other televised forms of entertainment. It made this transition by very rapidly converting news into an entertainment medium. Facts have become subject to interpretation, and “alternate” facts, which should discount the validity of any presented data or at least that interpretation, are now are often accepted as being a part of reality instead of motivational material.

The vagaries of how the system of capitalism is playing out cause no end of serious and unfair results, including the throw away wealth gain of a very few at the expense of so many, but the result has still been tolerable enough that the country is not in revolt, backing an internal insurgency or preparing for some sort of civil war. Nuclear dangers with postage-sized countries (North Korea is about as big a threat as maybe getting rickets, and Russia can not still field nuclear aircraft carriers or threatening aircraft, much less field any economic might). Where reality television does not dominate the air waves, professional and college (secret professional) sports occupy the attention of most citizens not glued to Internet social media sites, where viewers can concentrate and cheer others making millions (sports) or pay attention to how important or unimportant they are to people who don’t know or truly care about them.

Without external fears that the country is failing or being attacked, and living in a society that has little crime and ever-increasing mortality and comfort for almost everyone, it is hard to complain about the meaning of life in the USA, unless one is steered in that direction by others seeking to become famous and wealthy by complaining about everything.

If more Americans would travel to distant locations on the planet, and upon arriving there not stay at multi-star hotels, they would return home with an enlightened appreciation for what is here. Try to gain perspective and see how living in the USA is done among a population for what it really is, a collection of lovable, complaining and quite wonderful people.

~ James Strauss


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