This is s summary of my perspective on the election after living in Ethiopia for 18 months:
So Obama wins the 2012 Presidential Election. That’s fine and dandy. I think both candidates would honestly do the best job that they could to help the American people as a whole. I hope you can realize that what is best for you may not be best for the country…?
I didn’t vote. You can criticize me if you want, but you won’t hear me complain.
You won’t hear me complain, because the way I see it, I am so blessed, so fortunate, so lucky to be an American, regardless of who my ‘leader’ is.
After living in a 3rd world, developing country for 18 months, I have seen things that have made me sick to my stomach. I have heard things that make my heart break. I have realized what is really important in life. I have learned to be thankful for all that I am and all that I have.
All of our ‘basic’ freedoms have become more prevalent to me.
Freedom of Speech: Be thankful that you have the RIGHT to say what you feel, to speak out against something you think is wrong. In other parts of the world, if you disagree with the government, there may be repercussions. Some may not get a job, some may never ever see a promotion, some may be killed.
Freedom of the Press: Be thankful that you are given the opportunity to learn about your options from numerous sources. In other parts of the world, all forms of press and communication may be controlled by the government, the political party in control.
Freedom of Religion: Be thankful that you are not frowned upon because of your religious affiliation or lack thereof. Most people in America will still respect you, people will do business with you, people frankly just don’t care either way. In other parts of the world, people may take one look at the cross around your neck or the little hat on your head and may instantly be turned off to you.
Freedom of Assembly: Be thankful that you have the opportunity to gather and discuss issues that you consider to be a problem and create a course of action to fix that problem. In other parts of the world, meetings to discuss topics that oppose opinions of those who lead have to be held in secret, for fear of the consequences that can occur if they are revealed.
Freedom of Petition: Be thankful that you have the right to ask your government to do something or to refrain from doing something. You have the right to talk to your leaders and ask him or her to implement, change, or take out laws that you don’t agree with. In other parts of the world, people might never in their life have an opportunity to voice their opinion.
You have access to clean food and water. You have the right to choose a career and where you want to take that career. You have the ability to take care of your family. You have access to health care with clean facilities and competent doctors and nurses. You have the freedom to love who you want to love, to marry who you want to marry. In other parts of the world, people may not have access to water or food, people may be told what their career will be, people may struggle to take care of their families, people may not have access to healthcare, and women are often told who to marry…
People around the world die for things that we take for granted.
Regardless of how this election turned out, please be thankful for what you have. The election may or may not have turned out the way you had hoped. But you know what, you still have basic freedoms that people living in other parts of the world may never even dream of!
I am so thankful that this election is over. It has been so disappointing to read all of the fighting, bickering, complaining, disrespect and hatred! I hope that everyone can move on, respect others’ opinions and get respect in return.
Please remember: You are blessed, you are fortunate, you are lucky, you are American.