Happy Friday everyone! To all my non-U.S. readers, many of us here in the States are enjoying a four day weekend thanks to yesterday being our Independence Day. I’ll be taking a half day today myself as we’re having some friends over for a BBQ. It has been nice to have a shorter week this week, although my to-do list is growing in my mind as a result of the lost days. Oh well, a life of all work and no play gets tedious awfully quickly. I was reading Mr. CBB’s post on the Top 5 things He Loves About Canada earlier in the week (on Canada Day) and was inspired to do something similar today and share some of the things I love about living in America. I know it can be easy to look at some of our financial statistics or the state of politics and be pessimistic about the state of our nation, but I happen to think there are still a lot of great things about living in America. Below, I’ll share some of things I am most thankful for about living in America.
1. Free Speech
I think that free speech is part of the backbone of our country. I love that we as Americans can say what we want and what we feel and not fear retribution as a result. Having travelled a good bit of the world over my years, I know that this is certainly not the norm. There are many places today where you can be punished to the point of imprisonment or worse because of your opinions. I am so thankful that is not the case for us as Americans. While I may not always agree with some things that are said, I think it’s part of what makes us uniquely American…we have been given the right to free speech and that is indeed a beautiful thing.
In regards to diversity, I am meaning both cultural and geographical. Culturally speaking we’re becoming more diverse as a country, which excites me. There are many cities around us, including the city we live in, that have become home to large refugee populations. Not only does this bring more opportunity to learn about these cultures and expose our children to them, but it also means we have the ability to try different ethnic foods that we have grown to love. As a parent I love this because it affords us the opportunity to teach our kids from a young age the importance of learning other cultures and to love people that may not look like them. Geographically speaking, life in the Midwest means my family and I can get to the mountains or to bodies of water within a day’s drive. We can either be in a big city or we can be in the country, which gives us great selection. This gives us great selection as we contemplate summer vacation ideas and generally makes life more interesting.
Being an entrepreneur myself this is a big one for me. Living in America means that with solid effort and a will to succeed you can take advantage of opportunity and be something different than what your parents were. I know this may not be uniquely American, but I do know that there are many places in the world today where you’re stuck in the role expected of you and there is little possibility of moving out of that. By taking advantage of opportunity you gain the ability to strike out for yourself and create something capable of outlasting you and positively impacting many others.
I know, this is just a bit on the silly side. However, life is meant to be fun and having things to enjoy make life that much richer. I know not everyone likes football, or even sports and agree that they can be enjoyed to an extreme. When enjoyed with some balance it is a perfectly healthy past time.
Ok, I know, another silly one. I know that Hollywood does not always produce the best of movies, but there are many that are quite simply works of art and strike a chord with our American spirit. There are few things as enjoyable as going to the theater and watching a truly good movie on the big screen.
There you have it – five of my favorite things about living in America. It’s certainly not exhaustive, but just things that come to mind. Most importantly, I would be remiss if I did not mention thankfulness to those who have fought and given their lives so we can enjoy such things. If you see veterans this weekend, I encourage you to thank them for their service.
It certainly has been an eventful week or two in the blogosphere. I do apologize for the server issues that caused some outages over the last few weeks. Thankfully, those issues should be straightened out by now and should no longer be an issue. That said, here are some of my favorite blog posts of the week. If you have the time this weekend, I encourage you to check some of them out.
Blog Post of the Week
How Much is Impressing Others Costing You? on Three Thrifty Guys
I loved Aaron’s insightful post on several levels – as someone who tries to be frugal and spend money conscientiously and the other being someone who owns an advertising business. Many of us struggle with the desire to be part of the “in” crowd and keep up with the Joneses. Marketers know this and play on it frequently to get us to separate us from our money to buy whatever product they’re pitching. The idea that I come back to regularly is this – who am I living for? Am I living for others, or am I living for myself and my family? If it’s the former then it’ll be challenging, at times, to keep your spending wits about you. If it’s the latter then you’ll be conscientious with your spending and not enslaved to whatever whim may strike you. Aaron summed up his point well with this Teddy Roosevelt quote – “Comparison is often the thief of our joy.” As a marketer myself and a financial person I could not agree more.
Other Blog Posts That Ruled
When is it Time to Leave Your Job? on The Money Principle
Store Savings Cards – Loyal? Or Nuts? on Student Debt Survivor
Telling My Partner I Have Debt on Are Ya Gonna Eat That?
Investing – What’s the Point? on Make Money Your Way
My Affordable Engagement Ring on Budget Blonde
Discover IT® Credit Card Review – Top Cash Back Card on Modest Money
Odd Search Terms
The college graduate who did not get the job because of what she posted on Facebook…good thing I took down those drunk pictures!
A job that can make you wealthy quick…Bank robber!
Napkins instead of toilet paper…You’re a stronger person than I am!
Scratching my head…You must’ve forgotten to shampoo again!
Should we care about our employees…No, I say expect them to work for free
How to get rich for free…Wouldn’t we all like to know that
Can you find good clothes at Wal-Mart…Um, NO!
If you’re an American, what is one of your favorite things of being an American? If you’re not, what is something you’re thankful for? Do you have anything fun planned for this weekend?
Photo courtesy of: Bayasaa