Friday 14 March 2008

choosing the lesser??

This post has the potential to make me very nervous and vulnerable, but I'm going to post it anyway. Realising that I'm opening myself up to my pet hate - America mud-slinging, I'd like to consider my choices.

Day in and day out I live with personal questions and rude comments that are no-one elses business - all this because my accent is different and my passport is blue. "what are you doing here?" "why would you want to leave America?" "why do you talk funny?" "that's not how we do/say it here" "are you from the Republic?" "when are you leaving?"

Then there's always the country abuse, disguised as personal - as if it was my personal choice to be involved in a war and to not sign up to emissions and Kyoto.

But then no one ever really thinks about Americans voting for their own country and not for the world. Have you ever wondered how much impact your life will make on the world?

"Dear America,
As you choose your next President, the world will watch as the most powerful job in the world peacefully changes hands. In 2008, you will choose the man or woman who has the best vision of America's future and of your role in the world.
All of us, in every country, will be affected by the choice you make."

No one tells you when you're voting you either help your country or help other countries. No on outside ever admits of any good coming out of America - no world news headlines discuss the aid brought by American organisations or even by American soldiers.

So what are we to do? Where is our first responsibility? To America? Or the rest of the World? Do I choose the foreign policy or the internal? Why aren't there Presidents who have both? Why will no outsider admit that perhaps there is some good that America does amid all the bad? Do I choose a war in another country or an pro abortion bill?

You sit there and criticize, but do you vote in your country?
You sit there and criticize, but does your country only do good?
You sit there and criticize, but what are your foreign policies.

I sit here a weep, and pray our decision maker can guide America wisely, and aide the world as well. But which moral dilemma is worse - the one that kills thousands of Americans or the one that kills thousands of others?

How can I choose?


J-Mac said...

Bad things from America:
1. George Bush: The world is a poorer, more polluted, more violent, more vulnerable place than it was before his administration took control.

Good things from America
1. Martin Luther King
2. Music (esp. Dave Matthews Band)
3. Movies (esp. The Last of the Mohicans)
4. Philanthropy
5. New York
6. Big fat black drummers
7. Eilis Ferguson!!

J-Mac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J-Mac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dreams In The Darkness said...

EilĂ­s - I kinda (I hope) understand your frustration. I lived in England for 10 yrs and it was exactly the same except that Northern Ireland was the topic of conversation.

Seriously - I couldn't even ask the time of day without getting a lesson in politics and how horrible and evil the people in Northern Ireland are because of the troubles. Of course there was plenty of suggestions on how NI could be fixed.

This used to frustrate the life outta me because I was proud of where I came from.

However, as I watched the English "version" of the news I realised that they were receiving a very biased version of accounts. Was it any wonder they thought they way they did. I think this is possibly how America has received such ridicule.

I also hope you realise what a blessing you are to people and not only with your talents but also in who you are as a person. I for one have felt like I've known you for ages by the way you are so welcoming and friendly. I feel we are blessed to have you as part of Northern Ireland, and our Church.

I am not feeling very articulate tonight so hopefully this has come across ok. Feel like I've gone a long way to make a short point but hopefully you'll know what I mean.


Rhea said...

"But which moral dilemma is worse - the one that kills thousands of Americans or the one that kills thousands of others?"

This is so true. I'm an American, but my mother was from Scotland. 99% of her family still lives there (the rest live in other parts of Europe). American doesn't just get bashed by non-Americans, but even other Americans want to point out all our flaws, while forgetting anything good that we've ever done.

I personally think that the war in Iraq was right for us to do....why? B/c before we went in there Saddam Hussein was torturing and murdering his own people. He would have people go into prisons and murder all the inmates b/c it was too full...he used biological weapons against Kurds in the north of Iraq. The main problem it seems that Americans have with the war is the amount of American men and women that have died. This also grieves my heart...I hate father was a Marine...I understand the sacrifice that not only our military, but their families make...BUT...I certainly don't think that an American soldier's life is somehow "more valuable" than an Iraqi civilian. It seems that the only problem that most Americans have is that it's now other AMERICANS that are dying...I didn't see these same ppl complaining when it was helpless civilians dying.

Anyway, I didn't post this to start any sort of debate on American foreign policy or the war in Iraq, but just to encourage you. The truth is, our country isn't as horrible as it seems so many would want us to believe.

Anonymous said...

my problem is the amount of money america accumulates whilst billions of people die of starvation or lack of medical supplies. It seems that peoples priorties have shifted, however, this can be said of other countries, but I guess America seems to be the ring leader on how it portrays society becoming more sheltered from the rest of the world. You dont need to flick to far on your t.v. to watch meaningless programmes such as "cribs" and "my sweet 16" and other crap which raises the bar on what standard of life you need to have in order to be rich and happy! Im not saying that this as americas fault but when I was in California, there was nothing on t.v. but this sort of rubbish and the news delivered no headlines from the outside world. It was frustrating for me to think that the young people of America are being brought up watching this unattainable lifestyle, and aiming to achieve this false sense of what life is all about.

Everything in the states is masssive, the cars are huge and theres no such thing as walking into a grocery shop to buy a carton of milk, you can only buy a Gallon! It just seems that America wastes alot, and it is in constant competition to be bigger and better than the rest of the world, and I dont feel that thats what the world needs. America has all the potential in the world to change the world, but sometimes I think its too late for it to change. Money is power.

I think America is beautiful but I dont find it attractive.
You however, are both beautiful and attractive! xo

Laura H

Anonymous said...

Lots of thoughts and ideas and opinions.

Here's one more:

There are good and bad things about every country because each country is made of good and bad individuals who make good and bad decisions every day of their lives. How can we judge any people group based on the few individuals we may know from that nation or what we see/hear/read about that nation as a whole?

You can know that I am an American and make assumptions about me based on that and yet know nothing about me personally—and vice versa for every single person in the world.

Okay, just had to say it :)

Love you, E!


Aaron and Suellen said...

You are a brave woman to pick that scab, and I don't think there is a right answer. There were times when I lived in (Northern) Ireland and felt like the only "person" who didn't care I was an American was my dog! No one has truly objective news, Americans aren't as rich or wasteful or militaristic as most of the world believes and yes we are more generous than most people will ever see or believe. And so are the French, Germans, and so forth, and yet they are stereotyped too. All groups do this to each other and I don't know if it stems from insecurity or superiority or both, but if I had to guess, I'd bet it's just sin. I thought faith would transcend nationality and was crushed to be treated as an American first and a Christian second, in my mind it had always been the other way around. And for the record, you've always talked funny, but we love it!

Brian said...

great post, got me a bit worried about the american team that is coming to Ibiza to walk the streets and chat with loads of brits! They are inevitably and unfortunately going to get questioned about american foreign policy. Your post is helpful it got me thinking.....

Rebekah said...

This is so familiar...

peteroberts said...

I'm English and have suffered similarly but the longer I live the more I hold onto that it's what my Heavenly Father thinks about me that matters. Sometimes I'm pleased to be English others just downright embarrassed about it!
I've come to the conclusion that if the USA is the most powerfull country in the world then I need to pray all the more for it. It make sense to me. I spent a large amount of my teenage time praying for Christians behind the Iron Curtain (the old USSR... oops gave my age away there) because it was such a superpower, maybe its time to start praying with the same fervour for the US....and what should I pray? ...for Gods kingdom to be extended in that land and in that process ask God to show me what that looks like!!
Thanks for your honesty Eilis