There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned small town 4th of July parade to remind one of the grand ‘ole flag.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of different perspectives lately. Not only in my personal life, but in life in general; life in the U.S., life in other countries. Watching the news and seeing busloads of mothers with children being turned away is heartbreaking from where I sit, but then again I suppose it’s a matter of perspective. I’ve recently read several interesting blog posts discussing the pros/cons of life in the United States. I think that’s one of the best characteristics of this country; that such an open dialogue can be reached by the masses via the internet. Freedom of speech. It’s there for all of us, whether we agree or not. And isn’t that an
One of the things that continues to amaze me about the U.S., is the diversity. And I don’t just mean diversity among the populations. We’ve driven 3 major road trips across this vast country; the northern route, the classic Route 66 from Illinois to California, and most recently an 8,000-mile back and forth trip across the country. Honestly, there were times when it felt as if instead of crossing state borders, we crossed country borders. There are so many regional areas, each of which offers its own local culture, language, accent, food, style, etc., it’s no wonder there are times when – as a nation – we feel divided.
The last time I counted, I think we’ve passed through 33 states, that’s not bad and I think it gives us a pretty good feel for the country. Is the U.S. perfect? Far from it. But I’m free to say that without fear of repercussions and I can come and go as I please. I remember on our most recent road trip, we happened to be in Austin, TX on a day when there was an organized protest – in front of the Austin capitol building – on behalf of the right to keep and bear arms. It just so happened our car was parked a few yards from the protest. Witnessing all of those people with rifles and assorted guns hanging on their arms; I couldn’t get in the car fast enough. I am not a fan of guns, or gun lobbyists. And then I remembered the train station in Paris where armed military personnel routinely patrol the station. I was reminded, it’s not just the U.S.
So I’m taking the 4th of July to remember what this country stands for and that people – from all walks of life and from all over the world – are inherently good. We just don’t always see eye-to-eye and I guess it’s all about perspective that keeps it interesting. Perspective: the state of one’s ideas, the facts known to one, etc., in having a meaningful interrelationship: You have to live here a few years to see local conditions in perspective.
So Happy 4th of July to you and yours. Whether or not you are barbequing, standing along a parade route, sunbathing on the beach, eating fried chicken and watching fireworks, or even if you are traveling in some far away land, Happy 4th of July to you! And thank you for continuing to follow us, One Road at a Time ~
Really interesting thoughts Patti. Travelling in Asia definitely gave me perspective and allowed me see firsthand how western powers have caused so much pain in other parts of the world. I felt extremely guilty as a Brit travelling in Burma in particular, knowing that the country was colonised by the British. Like you, there are many things about my home country I’m not proud of but plenty I am and I totally agree that people are inherently good.
Amy recently posted…Memories from 15 Months of Travel
Thank you Amy, not only for reading this post, but for your continued friendship and support. I look forward to the day when you and Andrew make it to the USA and hopefully, our paths will cross.
Patti, I live 7 miles north of the Peace Arch. Located in the peaceful Peace Arch Park, The Peace Arch (dedicated in 1921) straddles the International Boundary between Canada and the US. It’s a symbol of peace between two different, but friendly, nations. In today’s world this is becoming a rarity. We are so lucky. Clearly – and yet sadly – others agree. A thought-provoking post reflecting difficult dilemmas. No easy solutions
Thanks for teaching me about the Peace Arch, I’d never heard of it.
Beautiful post and tribute to our country. There’s a lot to work on but there’s so much to be proud of, too, and your photos show what an amazing place the US is!
Anita @ No Particular Place To Go recently posted…Housesitting: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
Thanks Anita, completely agree that there is much to be proud of.
An excellent way to look at it Patti. No country is perfect, certainly, I always just feel like BECAUSE we have so many freedoms and advantages other countries don’t, we should be better, we should be more open to others ideas. The recent photo going around facebook of a “rights to bear arms” young American woman holding a bible with the US flag behind her right next to the photo of a middle eastern Muslim woman in, basically the exact same pose, is a perfect example of how we judge otherse, but when it comes to looking in the mirror, get defensive of our rights. No easy answers for sure…. but travel builds tolerance…. something we could all do well with a bit more of!
Rhonda recently posted…Help us WIN!!!!!!!!!!
Agreed. We need to find a way to be better. Thanks for stopping by, Rhonda.
The more I read, the more I realise that there is a tremendous diversity in the US. I’ve only ever been there for two short trips – I really need to spend a lot more time exploring the country!
Karen Warren recently posted…The Pancake Rocks and Blowholes of Punakaiki
That’s the thing about the US, Karen, in that it is SO huge, it really takes a long-term visit to get a good feel for the country.
Wow, 33 states! I guess I need to figure out how many I have visited so far!
Jan Ross recently posted…An Eco Boat Tour with Taking Off Hot Air Balloon Company and Boat Tours
Thanks for stopping by Jan.
Beautiful post. We live in the greatest Nation on Earth. No question. We have quite a bit of diversity and that is what we were founded upon. Sometimes people lose sight of our differences and don’t want to see any other point of view but their own. Those kind of people are tiresome. Traveling gives you the very best perspective and more people need to travel!
Suzanne Stavert recently posted…Park Hyatt Aviara: The perfect resort for families & Empty Nesters
Life was a simpler and peaceful time when riding in a Woodie. Guns have become a testosterone high for individuals that are even in the police force in Utah. Happy Independence day to you too.
Neva @ Retire for the Fun of it recently posted…Crown Jewels and Heads Rolled in the Tower
Thank you Neva, I hope you and yours enjoyed the 4th!
It is good to appreciate the diverse landscapes, opinions, the city, the country, the good, the bad, the ugly. Especially, it is remarkable that we can speak freely and live without intimidation. The difference in the Austin protest and the Paris train station, however, is significant. The officers are trained professionals. Many gun holders in the States are not.
Kristin Henning recently posted…Visiting the Auschwitz and Birkenau Nazi Death Camps, Poland
Completely agree, Kristin. I felt much safer in Paris with the trained armed military than I did on the sidewalks of Austin with Joe public sporting a rifle over his shoulder as he passed by us on the sidewalk. But my point was just that the violence associated with guns, is worldwide, it just comes in different perspectives.
Thanks, I think we sometimes do forget to put things in perspective, when it comes to many things. So true about the diversity in this country (people, places, etc) and it troubles me when someone tries to generalize about the USA.
Cathy Sweeney recently posted…One for the Road: My 5 Day Nova Scotia Road Trip
Yes, Cathy, my point exactly. We cannot generalize about the people/society/norms of this country because we are just too damn big and sadly, too divided.
This is a great post and those last two photos really capture the idea of just how different parts of this country can be. We’re lucky to have the opportunity to see such different sights in the same country.
Scott – Quirky Travel Guy recently posted…Quirky things to see and do in Puerto Vallarta
Thanks for stopping by Scott. And thanks for the feedback on the photos. I was trying to find a couple of perspectives that would show the mindset of different parts of the country, just by looking at the photos and letting the brain go to work.
What a wonderful, thoughtful post. I fully agree with you that most people are inherently good, something that we’ve learned in our travels as well. When I was a mother of kids in the nest, my protective instinct went into overdrive and I became afraid of the outside world. Making the decision to have a nomadic lifestyle and broadening my horizons geographically as an empty nest mother has really helped me overcome those fears.
I love your willingness to see both sides of an issue, Patti. I think everyone can benefit by taking your lead. And, yes, it’s because of free speech that we have the freedom to do just that. -Veronica
The GypsyNesters recently posted…Florence on the Fly
I too was a cautious mother, there’s a fine line between being protective and over protective. I tried to balance it out and I think we were pretty successful at it. I do try to recognize both sides of an issue, but there are definitely times when I yell at the t.v. when I see something like a busload of mothers/children trying to survive a worn-torn country. I think too many forget how this country was founded, which in turn leads me to struggle with the other sides perspective, but I’m thankful I live in a country where different perspectives are allowed.
A road trip is the perfect way to see the diversity in landscape. Thanks for sharing.
A Cook Not Mad (Nat) recently posted…Kahanu Garden in pictures
There’s nothing like a road trip for seeing the up close and personal side of life in all forms. Thanks for reading!
i would love to do a road trip through the various states again especially in the Southwest. Great post!
noel recently posted…Visiting Hip Healdsburg, CA – Travel Photo Mondays
Thanks, Noel. I would think a road trip through the southwest would be a photographers (such as yourself) dream!
Thanks for writing something so meaningful.
Irene S. Levine recently posted…Market Visit: Saint Antoine Market in Lyon, France
You’re very welcome, Irene, and thanks for reading!
So great to find another road trip blogger, Patti. We are a rare breed among the adventurers and nomads. I found your site through the Boomer Travel Bloggers group. I hear your perspective on perspective. We tubed the Rainbow River and went swimming at Rainbow River State Park in Florida on July 4th, and it was a veritable United Nations. I know what you mean about crossing country borders. Although I have a huge opinionated mouth on my personal FB page, I make a point never to be political on our blog (although I must say the gun issue is utter insanity). I did, however, write the first post in a series called Backroad Education, to share things I have learned on the road. I hope it strikes a balanced approach. By the way, I love the Woodies, too!
Howard Blount recently posted…10 Favorite North Georgia Waterfalls
Hey Howard – thanks so much for reading. It’s nice to meet you and I look forward to following and reading more of your travels. 😉
Happy 4th from a Canadian. We just celebrated Canada Day on the 1st. We are lucky in NA. Although, things are far from perfect, we do have the right to speak without fear of government retaliation. There’s a lot to be said for that.
Nancie (@Ladyexpat) recently posted…Travel Photo Thursday — 7/03/14 — Windows on Europe
Totally agree, Nancie. There is a LOT to be said for that! And I loved the windows on Europe photos!
I think we are very diverse. After all, we were the melting pot. I’m shocked at the current crisis at our southern border. What life conditions prompt parents to send young children off on their own. Instead of welcoming these children with open arms, we’re putting them in detention facilities. It just makes me so sad.
On a happier note- I love the Woodie!
santafetraveler recently posted…Photo of the week: Santa Fe fireworks
I think all too often there are too many people who don’t remember it was their ancestors on Ellis Island. It’s a shame, really, to deny those who are just trying to survive. Thanks for reading!
Traveling can really show a diversity of life and hopefully allow for multiple perspectives. I don’t have to agree with other cultures but should respect them.
Gaelyn recently posted…Foto Friday Fun 66
Agree Gaelyn. And I think there are those who could work on respecting the perspective of others right here in our backyard. Actually, I’m sure we could all use a little practice.
A very Happy 4th of July to you and your’s, Patti. I could not agree with you more on the diversity of our country and the same diverse perspectives amongst the population. Ironically, I’m not a fan of guns either despite growing up with them and seeing them daily in my career. I’ve seen first hand, real life, in the moment how they can take a life in a second. I support our citizens rights….unfortunately those weapons are not used just to protect property anymore. I have lots of concerns and questions about our country and it’s future and it’s not until we can find more common ground as a nation that positive solutions can be found. Goes full circle to the diversity. Good post 🙂
Mike recently posted…Cancer Free Contest Winners!
Thank you for reading, Mike, and Happy 4th to you and Phoenix. Thanks also for sharing your perspective … common ground… yes, it would go a long way in finding solutions.
While I do not agree with completely open borders where “bus loads” of mothers and minors are crossing to be cared for by some random city who may not have adequate funding to properly feed them let alone medical needs, I do agree there has to be some solution found rather than just pushing them back. I wish I had a recommendation for a solution. Our country was built on the backs of people who came here seeking freedom. As for gun control we need stricter control in back ground checks and I don’t believe anyone needs an uzi or anything like it. However, if we take away the ability to purchase what we “want” we take away freedom to make our own decisions.
Thank you for sharing your perspective with us, Diane. And Happy 4th of July to you. I hope it’s a great celebratory day for you and yours!
America is such a large country physically and demographically –
You’ve been lucky to see so much of it and recognize first hand the diversity within the single nation.
Happy 4th of July 🙂
Linda ~ Journey Jottings recently posted…The Laid Back Travel Journal Layout – How to Story-Map Your Day
Thank you, Linda! There are so many places in this world to visit, and we look forward to seeing as much as we can, but it’s also important for us to visit as much of the U.S. as we can. And, I’m a U.S. history nut, I just can’t see/learn enough. You’ve got a rather large home country to explore as well. We’d like to return one day as we’ve only seen a small bit… Sydney and Melbourne.
Not only are we diverse in many ways—–we also have good days and bad days, sometimes on the same day. After that bus with the undocumented minors was turned away in a rather ugly display in one California town, it was welcomed in another.
PS: I’m not sure I could get used to “open carry” — nor do I want to have to.
Suzanne Fluhr recently posted…“You went where?” – A Visit to Luang Prabang, Laos
Nor would I, live in an open carry state that is. And that’s partly what I was referring to when I mentioned crossing borders. The U.S. is enormous and there’s so much going on. One state has one set of rules, the next state has another set. Perspective.