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  • Writer's pictureCalvin

First World Country

I sit to you right from the comfort of my own home. In my own room. In front of my laptop. With two arms and two legs. In a country where I can exhibit freedom of speech and the freedom to vote. Where I can express my thoughts thru a blog of my choosing however I please.

I have the voice and the power to do this in the USA. It’s not a perfect country by any stretch of the means. But, I am grateful for the Internet. And for the ability to have this blog up and running where I can express my thoughts however I choose.

I have problems of course, just like everybody else. Relationship problems. Financial problems. Work problems. All that good stuff. But, most of the problems I encounter are first world problems.

I am grateful for the advances in modern medicine. For the development of vaccines to combat this ongoing pandemic. I am grateful that we have the tools to minimize physical suffering amongst the ill. And I am grateful for the ability to be healthy mentally and physically.

I feel like we have all the tools at our disposal to live a healthy and happy life in the USA. We have cars. We have the Internet. We have sufficient medicine. We have supportive clubs and communities. We have lots of hobbies and pursuits that we can throw ourselves into for the sake of purpose and passion.

It’s a never-ending gem of resources living in a first world country. Imagine living in a third-world country where you are under the threat of disease and starvation. How terrible could that possibly be? Or to live in fear of war and political strife.

I was reading Malala’s memoir a few weeks ago. About her strife she encountered in Pakistan back in the early 2000s. How young girls were not allowed to go to school. How a former Prime Minister of the country was assassinated. How she herself was the target of terrorist attacks and how she almost lost her life for a cause that she believed in. Her story could’ve had a tragic ending.

And after reading that memoir, it made me feel all the more grateful for living in a first world country. Where there is still political strife, but nowhere near the degree of some other countries. We have freedom of speech here. We have a strong system of government. Of checks and balances. Or state of the union is strong - as President in history would like to say that.

But, it’s true to a certain extent. Some people argue that the USA is on the decline. However, it’s still a place of hope. And still, countless immigrants risk their lives trying to get here and to start from scratch. It can’t be all that bad after all. Think of all the countries in Central America where violence and gangs are endemic. Where refugees take the trek thru menacing countries to get to the Southern Border.

The USA is still a place where people come to seek solace and refuge and opportunity. It is still a bedrock of democracy. Yes, many times, we do too much in terms of meddling in the affairs of other countries. But, no country is perfect.

I still need to be grateful for living in a place where the people have the true power. Not the politicians. Where we elect officials from the bottom up. Where we have a system that weeds out corruption and rewards service. I think each and every one of us has a role to play in the USA. To better democracy. To better our enclaves and communities. There is a role for each and every one of us.

So, I think that living in a first world country, we should honestly be ecstatic day in and day out. There are problems, yes. But, there are so many joys that we can experience by living in the USA. Even the mundane simple joys.

We have cars. We have TVs. We have airplanes. We have the Internet. We have running water. We have electricity. We have toilets. We have indoor plumbing. I can go on and on with my gratitude list, but that will honestly take many more paragraphs and many more pages.

For me, I was born privileged with not too much financial stress. So, the least I can do is be grateful that I live in this wonderful country. Where I am protected by the government and by the wonderful military veterans out there risking their lives to protect our democracy. Sometimes, I feel like I sound like a broken record. Or a corny advertisement.

But, the people in my community that sacrifice in order for me to live the life I live are numerous. The teachers that taught me from elementary school onwards. The garbagemen that come like clockwork every week to clean up the streets and pick up the trash. The doctors and nurses out there in the frontline fighting this ongoing pandemic. The cashiers and grocers bagging my food and groceries. These people are courageous in their own sense, and truly deserve recognition and reward.

Yes, we are still dealing with the pandemic over here in the USA. Yes, there is still racial inequality. And yes, climate change is still an issue that we need to deal with. But, just take a step back, and see that this country has brought us so many joys as well. And we shouldn’t just discount that neither.

So, living in a first world country has been quite the experience so far in my 30 plus years of existence. I do admit that sometimes I’m not quite as happy as I should be. But, when I take a step back, and look at all the modern conveniences and opportunities around me, I see that this experience is something that I should never take for granted.

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