Truly, I do mean this. I must take the time to thank God a few times a week for allowing me to be born in America. Not only that I am American, but that I live relatively comfortably, that I have a good husband, good family, and two beautiful children.
I feel guilty sometimes to have all of this. Proud, but guilty. Why, you ask, should I feel guilty?
When I look at what is going on in the rest of the world, I do feel guilty. I am conflicted. I live my life in my own little world, full of my family, career, hobbies... and then I look at all that is happening in the real world... the big picture. It's disturbing.
How can I go about my day to day activities and pretend like there is nothing happening in the Middle East? in Africa? in Indonesia? in North Korea? or any third world or developing nation? Again, feeling guilty that America is the cause for much of the unrest in the Middle East.... I know I did not make the choice to invade Iraq, but I am a part of the nation that did.
I recently watched part of Farenheit 9/11. I had to turn it off. I literally bawled my eyes out for nearly an hour after I did... it was awful seeing what happened to innocent children... I couldn't help but think of my own and how tortured I would be if anything happened to my babies! And to see how our troops have been forced to cope with the stress of war... ugh!!! So glad my husband does not have to fight over there and that I don't have a son old enough to do so. That documentary is a brilliant piece of propoganda. It had the desired effect of making me feel angry, disturbed, and extremely guilty....
I'm having nightmares, too... since before seeing the documentary, I have had recurring dreams that my country has been taken over by terrorists. Women have no rights, even being told what to eat and wear. And we are not allowed true contact with our children... I always wake up from these and have difficulty falling back to sleep.
Yet, here I am, still self-absorbed and living my life in my own little world. How do I react to what is happening? What can I do? I don't think I can change foreign policy!
I wrote a letter to former President Bush (when he was in office... I was in high school.) I actually coplimented the way he had managed the Desert Storm conflict in Iraq, comparing him to such great presidents as Jimmy Carter with specific references to foreign policies. Do you know what I got back? A form letter that had NOTHING to do with what I had written about. That was enough to disinterest me from spending 3 days writing such a monumental document and sending it off the the circular file ever again!!! It really burst my idealistic bubble to know that my letter did not deserve a true response.
I have a friend who lives in Israel. She actually has dual citizenship both in America and Israel. She lives there with her husband and 4 children. I worry about her. I asked her when she told everyone she was moving over there if she was afraid, and she said no. Well, now I am afraid for her.
I am tired of seeing images of death and destruction on TV.... and don't know what I can do to stop the chaos in this world.
So, I guess I will continue to live in my happy world, as most of us do, and pretend that these conflicts don't exist... except when I pray at night. And I will continue to hold my children close... and hopefully, I will figure out a way to change the world eventually....