So you can read my books

Saturday, July 4, 2015


 If I were to see you on your mother's birthday, and you told me: 

"I have the greatest mother in the world", 

I wouldn't grumble, "My mother was pretty good there too, fella."

I would be happy for you.

If I met you on your country's holiday, and you said, "I have the greatest country in the world."

Being a student of world history, 

I would point out a few things that I admired about your country and join in your happiness.

I never said America was the greatest country in the world ... 

just that it could be (just like any nation could) 

if the citizens and leaders put aside their differences and worked together.

On her birthday, I wanted to point out some good things about America ...

No other country has an equivalent to the Peace Corps which helps poor nations the world over.  

There is the European Voluntary Service but it only helps European countries.  

There is United Nations Volunteers, but it will not take just anyone who wishes to contribute to the world's needs.

I have been told I should focus on being a citizen of the world and not be devisive.  

Yet, if you are American, you already are a citizen of the world ...

for America contains peoples from most of the world's nations.

That America still survives is a wonder.

The American effort to achieve independence from Britain was not expected to succeed, but it did, 

with some timely help from friends abroad. 

The new country’s grand experiment in representative self-government was not given much of a chance, either, 

but it has survived. 

The idea of a nation

 — not an empire, but a nation —

 melded from many nationalities, ethnic groups and religious faiths was inconceivable

 to most of the world, but it has been realized over the 239 years since independence was boldly declared in Philadelphia. 

The essential element in all of this was, as Abraham Lincoln said, 

the ability of the people and their leaders to “think anew and act anew” when the times demanded it.

 “The nature of injustice,” Justice Anthony Kennedy  recently wrote, “is that we may not always see it in our own times. 

The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment

 did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, 

and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.”

Let us celebrate the wonder and marvel of our constitution this weekend.


  1. Oh Roland,
    I am sorry. I ddin't think you were being divisive, was just adding my perspective.
    I do hope you can enjoy and celebrate the rest of your weekend. Slinking off now.

    1. It was insensitive of me to put my perspective on your celebratory post. Mea culpa.

    2. Slinking? You're my friend! I just thought I had been misunderstood by a friend, and I wanted to clarify myself. :-)

      You weren't insensitive, merely honest. I want you to always feel comfortable enough here in my cyber home to speak openly. The ghost of Mark Twain just batted me aside the head for you. :-)

  2. It's never wrong to point out the good things, but we who live in other countries (some expats and some like me have adopted their countries) think our countries are pretty good too. Thinking globally which is what was pointed out means recognizing that although the USA may be the first there when the going gets tough, there are other countries which support the allied efforts such as the British commonwealth nations and France, and others. That's all. In respect for the US July 4th birthday, I'm posting a review later today - an hour or so - about a story set just before the war for Independence in the States. It's a D. Gabaldon story, The Fiery Cross. Come and read the review when you have time today. I consider myself lucky to have some history in the USA and I've read nearly every biography of the early American statesmen. Happy July 4th, a little belated. . .

  3. (Rod Serling's Voice):

    "Imagine if you would a woman coming to the birthday party for the child of her friend. The woman says to the mother: 'There are sweet little children starving all over the world, and here you are giving yours cake! Can you not think globally?'"

    Yes, Twilight Zone Time.

    For 364 days of the year, America is criticized by its citizens and the citizens of the rest of the world.

    For 1 small day, I just wanted to say, "Happy Birthday, My Country. You have some good things about you."

    Am I not allowed to praise my country and not think globally on her birthday?

    Apparently not.

    For the rest of the year, I am not reluctant to point out the flaws I see around me nor to praise countries like those of the British Commonwealth who celebrate Boxing Day ( a holiday I wish my country would copy.)

    How sad ... and illuminating.

    But I am secure in my own worth and that of my country. I do have to be validated from outside.

    May all of you have a lovely Sunday, Roland

  4. Very well said, Roland. On July 4 we celebrate our country, wish it the best, and afterwards keep working to make it better. I hope it was a good day for you and you didn't have to work!

    1. It was a loooong work day AND night -- but I got to sleep in most of today! zzzzz! :-)