Tag Archives: United States

The Day After

I’m still in shock. I don’t want to read any articles, watch any videos, or do anything that would allow my mind to accept this as reality.

But I have to. We all have to. Trevor Noah put it best: “Feel discouraged and upset, but don’t let it turn into fear, because fear is what Trump uses.”

Trump won because of fear. Fear is the enemy of love.

Even though it seems like we’re doomed, it’s not really over. Love can still win. Our job now is to protect those who suffer under a Trump presidency, including those who voted for him. That’s what loves does.

God give us strength.

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Why I Love America

Equal laws protecting equal rights are the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country. –James Madison

Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever persuasion, religious or political. — Thomas Jefferson

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It’s difficult for me to be patriotic. I’m never filled with pride at the mere sight of a waving flag. I never liked “pledging my allegiance” to anything other than a cross or my fellow human beings every morning at school. I never bought the whole “America-is-exceptional” story. I know too much history and read too much news for that.

It’s difficult for me to be patriotic. At least according to the definition that society has crafted over the years.

Being patriotic is not about denying the fact that America has a dark past and continues to portray itself as a savior of the world while playing the same game that all empires have played for thousands of years. For me, patriotism is about holding America to the standards that the founding fathers established. They may have been a group of old, white, and most likely racist men who would be shocked at cars, the Internet, women’s rights, gay rights, and so on, but they were smart enough to know that America would change. Their values were purposely vague, and I believe that’s because they knew that the America they founded would not be the same America hundreds of years later. A lot of people make a big deal about “what the founding fathers intended,” but if we asked them, they would probably throw their hands up in the air and say, “That doesn’t matter now! Things are different. Why are you asking us? We gave you some guidelines, now make it work.”

Patriotism is also about unity. There are two things I cannot stand: 1) Questioning someone’s religious devotion based on politics and 2) Questioning someone’s patriotism because of their politics. Assuming someone is not outright saying, “America is the worst. It shouldn’t exist. I revoke my citizenship,” they are most likely invested in politics and what is going on because, ultimately, they love their country and the people in it. You can say, “Your idea is terrible for America, mine is better,” but DO NOT say, “You hate America, and that’s why you have this idea.” A bunch of conservative pages on Facebook featured two pictures, one of President Bush and one of President Obama, and were trying to make a statement about the “difference” between the two’s patriotism. This was on the Fourth of July. That is a very low blow and the Fourth is not the day for partisan politics. Come on.

I love America because it is my home. Something about this country drew my ancestors from Europe, Japan, and Okinawa, and something about it is keeping me here. I have been given great opportunities and because I love America, I want to make sure that everyone gets those same opportunities.

 

 

 

National Adoption Awareness Month

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November is National Adoption Awareness Month. I know at least two families who have adopted children and when the time comes to start a family of my own, I want to consider adoption. There are so many children in the world who need a family; why shouldn’t I be a part of that?

Stats in 2011 estimate that 153 million children under 18 have lost one or both parents. There are of course orphans and children who need families in America, but internationally, the number of orphans is staggering.  In the US, we don’t usually think about malaria, or war, or extreme poverty, or HIV/AIDS, but on a global scale, these are routine concerns and countless children are losing their parents daily. These children (usually girls) have to drop out of school to care for their other siblings and try to find work or marry. In the worst circumstances, orphans are bought and sold as soldiers, prostitutes, and slaves. In order to survive, many orphans turn to crime.

Adoption is one way that orphans can be given a family and the opportunities they need to have a full life. However, I imagine that adopting a child (especially one from a different country who is not a newborn) is much more complex than giving birth to one. There are cultural differences and emotional traumas to be considered, and is especially acute the older the child is. Families are not always equipped to deal with the challenges. I read about a trend a couple years ago where these Christian families in rural areas were adopting 4-5 children at once from African countries, through a sketchy organization, and often had to give the children to other families or even tried to send many back to their home countries. The emotional damage a situation like this causes has got to be very difficult for an orphan.

If one is not able to personally adopt a child, there are other ways to support orphans. Organizations like Worldwide Orphans work to provide children with the physical care they need as well as giving them skills to become independent. A big problem with traditional orphanages is when the children age out, they have no where to go and no idea about how to support themselves without resorting to crime, prostitution, or unwanted marriages. The Worldwide Orphans Foundations provides education, health care, recreation, and technology on a long-term scale, because not every child can be adopted. Every child can be cared for though, if the right organizations are supported.

Go to https://www.wwo.org/ to get more information and donate.