Contrary to popular belief, I love being American. Some of you are asking "who doesn't?", some of you are asking "why?", and some of you are more concerned with your next trip out of the country to even be bothered with this blog. There's something so beautifully authentic about being born in a country that didn't even originate itself. Your creativity has no walls.
I always found it ironic that our slogan is "Land of the Free." If this isn't fine print, I don't know what is. Don't get me wrong. Belgium takes the cake when it comes to income taxes. Yet, we rank in the top 30 of the world's highest taxed countries. That's out of 195 countries for my non-geographical readers.
Our irony falls in the slogan, but after so many years of living in a country literally built by deception, we tend to let things slide. Not just taxes on water, but we tend to become insensitive to situations that really should be considered taboo. I too, fall victim to this mindset by brushing off tragic scenarios with comments like "Welcome to America." It's a coping mechanism, it seems. Maybe my mind is overwhelmed with processing so many people dying of unnatural causes that I am resorting to a state of nonchalance.
I could go on and on about my mind's desperate attempt to feel safe in this oversaturated trap house run by drugs, guns, money and Trump, but that's not my focus today. I love being American because I feel like we are the New York of the world. If you can make it here, you can definitely make it anywhere. We are a disgustingly beautiful, excessively populated city where everyone is trying to become someone by any means necessary.
It broke my heart to hear about rising rapper, XXXtentacion's, death and to follow so shortly after, a young man dying in New York because of a fatal stabbing. C'est la vie, right? Such is life that nearly 13,000 people are shot and killed each year. Such is life that an average of 105 people commit suicide each day in the United States. C'est la vie? I am literally being brought to tears as I write this blog. My eyes are watering because I love being American. I love being born in a home where there's so much opportunity for someone like me, simply because I'm someone like me. I love reading about the history of what my ancestors fought for, beyond deception, beyond resources and beyond choice. A group of people that found a way to be creatives on a platform built against their very existence.
I've vowed to myself that I will change my perspective. It's not for sadness that the youth of today are being sacrificed. It's not for revenge that gun violence is flourishing. It is definitely not for anger that my forefathers fought to their death...but for hope. For peace. For understanding that after every hurricane comes the coming together of a community to rebuild those walls. Stronger than before.
This week's blog was very personal to me. I hope you don't mind. I would love to know your views on todays news. What do you see for our future? What actions can we take to reassure our children have a better one?