My Big Wish

By
Real Estate Agent with Savvy + Company Real Estate NC: 277197

Today, hundreds of posts will populate this forum, each one trumpeting the greatness of our nation. The patriotic nature of this holiday spawns a passionate fervor. And it almost never feels like prejudice. Instead, it seems befitting of our eminence, of our central position in the social universe. 

Such arrogance astounds and saddens me. Not because I don’t love my country, but because I view patriotism through a broader lens. I love my country, yes. But I truly love my planet.  A lovely cerulean rock suspended prettily in a lemony sunbeam… this is my home. This is where my patriotism truly lies.

Celebrating independence is fine. But we are not independent anymore. We have never been more dependent on our fellow planeteers than we are in this era. To persist in this belief that somehow we are a nation standing alone, standing above, is not only arrogant, it is an exercise in self-delusion. The intertwining of our planetary co-existence is so vast, it overpowers my imagination to even ponder. So the question is, have we evolved to a place where we can celebrate our inter-dependence?

Our nation was formed by wanderers from the beginning. Wanderers, thinkers, and fighters with a collective idea. A good idea and one I truly cherish. Let us not forget though that together, by cooperating, they were able to accomplish what each man fighting alone, could not. Working together paid off. THIS is the gift they left us. Listen carefully to the whispers of our ancestors, there is a beautiful lesson in their accomplishment: We need one another.

Shall we set aside our self-important posturing long enough to spend the gift our ancestors left us and elevate ‘freedom from oppression’ to the next level? By discovering what else is possible, by coming face to face with alternative fates, we might forge a new and grander alliance. Our nation is but one stage on this vast and glorious earth. True independence will come when all of us can share in it.

When I see images of the sparkling mote of dust our planet reveals itself to be from afar, it simply takes my breath away. Everyone I have ever known, loved, admired, feared, or even heard of, has lived out their entire lives on this lonely island in space. It is our responsibility, our soul’s collective mandate to deal more kindly with one another, and to ensure the freedom of all earth’s children, so that they too, may flourish upon the wan blueness of this precious little world. The home we share. The only home we will ever know.

 

Our Sparkling Home

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Rainmaker
212,573
Jennifer Monroe
Savvy + Company Real Estate - Charlotte, NC
Real Estate REALTOR®/Broker in Beautiful Charlotte

Rene'... Obviously, I'm doing that as well. But why not have a little potato salad too? :)

Jul 04, 2009 03:46 PM #32
Rainmaker
564,104
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

I sailed around the world while in the Navy and went to many 3rd world countries as well as very developed countries and it was a huge eye opener that made me appreciate even more both the freedom we enjoy in this county (due to the extreme sacrifice of many now and before us) as well as the interconnectedness of everything.

Jul 04, 2009 03:47 PM #33
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Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

I don't find anything in the definition of Patriotic or Patriotism that is a synonym or assumes to arrogance.

Patriotic

Pa`tri*ot"ic\, a. [Cf. F. patriotique, Gr. ? belonging to a fellow-countryman.] Inspired by patriotism; actuated by love of one's country; zealously and unselfishly devoted to the service of one's country; as, a patriotic statesman, vigilance.

 

Jul 04, 2009 03:49 PM #34
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Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

I don't usually do this, but because it is you... I will... I love you.

The written word and the meaning behind it can be more subjective than a sexual gesture from an early eighties Michael Jackson video.  Is it too early to poke fun?  I didn't think so...

Some folks got this and some folks didn't.  That's fine and expected.  Katerina mentioned Chris Gardner in her comment, which is a classic case of why this country is great.  Kudos, Katerina.  Good call.  I thought and think this post is a wonderful example of not only what makes this country great, but a wonderful opportunity we are afforded.  The whole damn world  should have such an opportunity. 

Isn't that the point?

I'll go to the grave with two things in mind:

-I will go to the grave.

-There's a higher power and I'm not it.

Jennifer happens to be the most articulate writer around here, in my opinion.  Read closely and think deeply.  If you can do those two things, you're ahead of the curve.

 

 

 

Jul 04, 2009 03:55 PM #35
Rainmaker
212,573
Jennifer Monroe
Savvy + Company Real Estate - Charlotte, NC
Real Estate REALTOR®/Broker in Beautiful Charlotte

Chris... The disparity can be disturbing and it lends a great many questions as to why it is so. But after all the contemplation, our charge is to spread the love and close the gap. Wouldn't you agree?

Katerina Katerina Katerina... If Patriotism is about making the distinction between US AND THEM, then I say stop the fucking separatism already. I embody patriotism, but as I clearly stated, my patriotism incorporates our entire earth. MY, OUR and EVERYONE's world. My heart cheers for each and every one of us. This is one place. One. And when I allow myself to think otherwise, I begin to feel small and petty.

But I'm not. I am part of a greater collective. My/our only greatness is achieved when my beautiful brothers and sisters across every time zone are living freely, Then and only then can I make the claim of love. I know you get this. I just do.

My Jason... If only you understand me then I will sleep a tiny bit better at night. If you are tight against me, then I will sleep even better. If everyone were truly free, I will sleep like an angel :)

Jul 04, 2009 04:18 PM #36
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Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Freedom is a gift that can rarely be given.  It has to be fought for...  And now WE have forgotten the struggle and may have to fight for it again. 

Jul 04, 2009 04:22 PM #37
Rainmaker
212,573
Jennifer Monroe
Savvy + Company Real Estate - Charlotte, NC
Real Estate REALTOR®/Broker in Beautiful Charlotte

Lane... Why the fight? When I am the recipient of a truly wondrous gift, the last thing I do is fight it off. Am I that unusual?

Jul 04, 2009 04:36 PM #38
Rainmaker
678,889
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

Hmmmm. I haven't encountered this level of thought since I was in college. I'm glad to see that there are more than just a few people who can see to the heart of a matter and expound on it to make others think, if only for a moment. Sadly, moving beyond the boundaries placed on many hearts and minds by the rather narrow definition of patriotism is something that so few of us can actually achieve, and actually doing that will take more than words, but action. Are we really up to that challenge?

Jul 04, 2009 04:42 PM #39
Rainmaker
565,629
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Jennifer - what is wrong with being different? It is not arrogance to recognize difference. Nor is it arrogance to want to set or maintain higher standards, loftier goals. It is not arrogance to want to bring others up. It is arrogance to demean those who "cling to their guns and religion", to be embarrassed because your countrymen and women "don't speak French".

Is it arrogant to believe that we have a better system than China? Than Malaysia? Than Mexico? Than Ireland? No. It is only arrogant to believe that we are inherently better than others, or that other people are inferior to us.

I have never been to Switzerland, (although it is on my seconedary bucket list) but I will say that I have found perhaps the most arrogant people I have ever met to be a couple of Swiss. However, I have been to, and spent time in, several third world countries, and I find the statement And I regret that when I returned to the US, I felt I had stepped into a third world country by comparison. to be if not arrogant, somewhat elitist and am very sorry that you feel/felt that way.

To presume that we are great does not mean that we are arrogant. To presume that we are great and have no room nor requirement for improvement does. I am continually raising my own bar (and often my bar glass) in order to improve myself, to make myself just a bit better, in almost everything that I do. That is also what I expect my country and countrymen/women to be doing. Continuous improvement is what a company that I worked for called it.

We have something that sets us apart from the rest of the world. We have something that makes us the "destination" of choice for immigrants from all over the world, including Europe. We are in agreement, that we should use that something to help others, that we should share that something so that others can enjoy the freedoms and the choices that we have. However, I will not mandate it upon the rest of the world, that would be arrogant. Nor will I deny it, because that would also be arrogant, or, at best, a false humility (is there a difference?).

Jul 05, 2009 12:44 AM #40
Rainmaker
212,573
Jennifer Monroe
Savvy + Company Real Estate - Charlotte, NC
Real Estate REALTOR®/Broker in Beautiful Charlotte

William... I don't know if we're up to that challenge yet, but we should be working towards it rather than resting on our laurels. Wonderful comment.

Mike... We agree more than you realize. I'm simply advocating for expanding our patriotism to include the whole world. Yes, we do have a better system than most, but that still clings to a seperatist view. I'm not Pollyanna here, I just don't see celebrating our greatness as a step towards bringing independence to the rest of the world. Noting that we seemed less great than another country wasn't intended as elitism, but a suggestion that our greatness has room for 'continuous improvement' and I wish that we, as a nation, would look upwards rather than backwards. I hear your heart Mr. Saunders, and I raise my bar glass to it :)

Jul 05, 2009 01:17 AM #41
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Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Jen, I love your writing, you know I do and I agree for the most part and understand where you are coming for. Just want to point out that love of country doesn't have to mean arrogance.

That being said no other nation in the world. NO OTHER has given as much to charity both here and internationally by individuals and our government than America.

We open our hearts and pocket books to helps those in need all the time, we take the cause of Liberty to foreign soils all the time.  Our Founding Fathers laid a foundation of liberty and freedom that has become the envy of the world for many to follow and desire. Immigrants flock here to be apart of this great experiment. They risk their lives by getting on make shift boats to leave Cuba, they escape under tunnels from Mexico.

No other nation does that happen in?

Proud, yes, arragant No, humbled to be born here, Yes.

Write more, you are missed!

Jul 05, 2009 01:31 AM #42
Rainmaker
565,629
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Jennifer - is it arrogance for Mexicans to celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Is it arrogance for Poland or Lithuania to celebrate their Independance days? If not, why is it arrogant for us to celebrate ours?

Granted, we are probably more on the same page than not, but I would advocate that national patriotism does not equate to separatism.

Jul 05, 2009 02:26 AM #43
Rainer
292,552
Diane Aurit
LKN Realty, LLC - Mooresville, NC
Lake Norman Real Estate

Jennifer, I hope you can sleep like an angel one day.  Such a beautiful, and thoughtful post.  You might want to read "The Life You Can Save" by Peter Singer some time.  He writes brilliantly about the importance for all of us to work together to end world poverty and why it is everyone's responsibility.  Thank you for sharing again with us...you are missed but I can tell you are very happy:)

Jul 05, 2009 03:12 AM #44
Rainmaker
571,718
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Morning Jennifer,   This truly amazing post makes my day.  I agree with much of what you believe as do so many responders here.  How sad that a few insist on filtering everything through a political lens !  If what you say threatens their little sterilized version of reality then it should be attacked and " spun " into something totally different .  Most here get it, my sympathies to those who don't !

Jul 05, 2009 03:30 AM #45
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Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Jennifer... excellent ....  I am semi speechless.  ;o)  I agree that we need to be one as a nation in order to move forward and exist. But I also agree with Missy's comment. The problem with a lot of what is happening is that we use our resources, spend our money, some follow...  but some fight us on this. It's sad, but so true. America does give so much in so many ways....  just wish that others would try and help with us and not against us. In any case, loved this one.

jeff belonger

Jul 05, 2009 04:17 AM #46
Rainmaker
157,322
Sandra Cummings
William Raveis Real Estate - Guilford, CT
Real Estate Agent, Guilford Connecticut

My Jen  - Forever the gentle soul. Which is why you need to post more often...beautiful, simply beautiful. MWA!

Jul 05, 2009 04:41 AM #47
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Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Jennifer... I grew up with a rich diversity of friends.  And I noticed that the ones that were given everything they wanted didn't care for what they had.  The ones that had to work for it, DID care what happened to their stuff. 

Many are becoming the princes and prencesses that expect to be served, but don't feel the need to pay for what they recieve...  That isn't a viable long term strategy.

Jul 05, 2009 04:56 PM #48
Rainmaker
137,477
Alexsandra Stewart
Remax equity group - Portland, OR
Broker - Portland Oregon Real Estate

Hi Jen -  have always liked the Peace Train.  Loved your post, and enjoyed all the comments it engendered. When I see the bumper stickers that say "God Bless America" - I think-- oh,does that mean just us, and not the rest of the world? Another thought is 'what about the people who don't have the same god as is being invoked - isn't the statement a bit exclusive. To me it plays into that kind of arrogance you reference in your post. I'm aware we can't survive alone, we must cooperate with each other and with our neighbors around the world.  Your post reminded me of a phrase in one of the alternative prayers in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, that refers to all creation --"the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth, our island home."   It is a fragile earth, and 'borderism' doesn't work!

Jul 05, 2009 07:08 PM #49
Rainmaker
212,573
Jennifer Monroe
Savvy + Company Real Estate - Charlotte, NC
Real Estate REALTOR®/Broker in Beautiful Charlotte

Missy... One of the areas of pride in our country that I do share with you is our generosity to the world. Now that is something to take pride in :)

Mike... Yes and yes. But I national patriotism inherently implies that we are somehow different and better. And we are better than some, but why not consider Independence Day a day of thanks to those hwo brought us this far AND make it a day for new aspirations to bring independence to everyone that shares the same sun? All I tried to say here is that this is my wish.

Diane... I am very happy :) I'm about to get my library card here and that will be the first book I look for to read. It strikes close to my heart and it's a topic we would all benefit from understanding much better. Thanks for the great suggestion!

Bill... Wow. Thanks! "How sad that a few insist on filtering everything through a political lens !" Some do, but it gives me hope that many do not. You make my point that if we can stop with the border mentality we will get much further in making a global difference for all people. What do you suppose would happen if every american forst born child were shipped off to another country to be raised for the first five years or so? Would their patriotic parents take a different view then? I wonder...

Jeff... Is that possible? Semi-speechless... really? Just kidding but I do appreciate your support. And you're entirely corect that we do encounter resistence - often from the very people we try to support. Perhaps we need a new strategy because I believe all people, as individuals, long to be free.

My Sandra... Awww... thank you :)) MWA back at ya!

Lane... How right you are. One of the reasons I enjoy writing here is that now and then someone will interpret my words with a unique perspective. Yours is a terrific example of that. We are so tied up in our expectations of what others have/will give us, we forget our mandate to reach out and help the next person. Thank you for a different take Lane :)

Alex... Gosh I sure miss you! I award you Best Comment for encapsulating my point perfectly. Borderism does not work, and, in this advanced age (or so we pretend), we should be thinking beyond such limitations. Territorialism is so deep-seated in our collective psyche that I wonder if we'll ever recover from it. As long as we view ourselves as different and better than the rest, it won't happen.

 

Jul 06, 2009 01:19 AM #50
Rainmaker
256,537
Chris Fisher
Your Virtual Assistant - Concord, CA

I am obviously late to this post, but I have to say I feel like I just inhaled some very fresh air.  I agree with you entirely, though could not have articulated the point as well.  Just beautiful, thank you! 

Jul 06, 2009 09:29 AM #51
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Jennifer Monroe

Real Estate REALTOR®/Broker in Beautiful Charlotte
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