Friday, August 21, 2015

How I Feel About America

Politics. Take a deep breath--can you smell the contention in the air? Lately there have been so many hot button issues being discussed (gay marriage, abortion, the election, immigration, Donald Trump.) There has been talk about how the United States isn't the country it once was and that we are steering far from the principles our country was founded upon. I can't say I disagree with those statements, surely I have mentioned it myself a time or two. All, in all, though, I feel just a general negative energy towards politics and our country's future. 

Then I met E. 

Yesterday, Kyle and I picked up a girl who just moved here to attend Law School at Cornell. She came to the U.S. as a teenager for an exchange student program. During that short time she was here, she was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (mormon.) She then returned home to her native country, China. She later served a mission for the Church on Temple Square and then again returned to China. She talked to Kyle and I about how difficult it was to be in a place where she couldn't express something she cared so deeply about. She wanted nothing more than to share the gospel. Yet, she was unable. As a young teenager, she couldn't even attend Church. She spoke with excitement about coming to the United States again to attend school. She said "I stepped off the plane and realized how different it feels in this country. The Spirit of God is here--it is HERE! It even says 'In God we Trust' on the bill....that is amazing." She spoke with such wonderment, true gratitude, and joy. 

It impacted me. It reminded me that while our country isn't "like it once was" that maybe it isn't supposed to be. It reminded me to be so grateful that I, you, we, live in a place where we can believe what, where, or how-ever we choose.  I, you, we, live in a place where we can start at once place and go wherever else we want. I, you, we, live in One Nation, Under God, Indivisible. 

I choose to believe that America at its core is good. So, please, for the sake of everyone, let's stop focusing on the negative and start to: 

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