Before someone pulls a gun on me, I’d like to point out that I love America and I am proud to be an American. I think it is, and always will be, the land of opportunity. I think that our rights are still the most desirable in the world and there’s more freedom here than anywhere else.
I think it’s the best place to demonstrate and evoke change and the only place where you can truly become anything you desire, as long as you have the drive.
However, I also have my doubts and dislikes about this country, like many citizens do about their own homes. I have reasons I wouldn’t want to raise my kids here; they are my own opinions and anyone can disagree.
That being said, I’m not sure exactly where I want to raise my kids, yet (although, I’ve been leaning towards a “Wild Thornberrys” kind of life). However, I know that I don’t want them to go to school where parents of their classmates carry guns. I don’t want them to be surrounded by people who believe they need guns to protect themselves against people without them. I don’t want them to go to school where a child thinks it’s okay to bring his father’s gun in his backpack for show and tell.
I don’t want them to go somewhere where they will think it’s okay to make fun of a child who's parents are gay or where the color of someone’s skin is even a factor. I don’t want them to live in a state where it’s not legal for their classmates' parents to get married or where kids use words like "fag" to destroy a person’s self-esteem. I don't want them to live somewhere where religion is a means for bullying.
I don’t want them to live in a country where the wealthy pick on the poor and the government picks on countries with oil and unstable governments. I don’t want them to be forced to pick a political party that refuses to compromise or vote on policies that are good for the people, not just political agendas.
I don’t want them to pass cities where the poor live without the educational systems and necessities that their fellow citizens take for granted just 30 miles away.
I don’t want them to have to save money late into their sixties before they can even begin to think about retirement. I don’t want them to live in a country with an average number of 8.1 vacation days and where work is seen as the sole purpose of living.
I don’t want them to feel like they need to be rich to be respected, and most definitely don’t want them to think they can screw over people on their way to the top. I don’t want them to look at other countries with disdain and prejudice. I don’t want them to become arrogant and materialistic, and most definitely don’t want them anywhere near Hollywood and the crap it produces.
I don’t want them worshipping false idols and believing that “Dancing With The Stars” is quality television. I don’t want them growing up wanting to be Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton. I don't want them dreaming of Escalades and mansions, viewing wealth as a means of display and entitlement.
Now, I know every country has its problems and moving somewhere will inevitably bring problems of their own. I just know there are certain parts about America that I don’t want my child to endure.
I want them to live in a country where only policemen carry guns and everyone has the same rights, no matter how they choose to define their lives and their sexual partners. I want them to live in a country where work is necessary, but not all-encompassing. I want them to live where more rights are given to the people and less to the government and the slimy corporations. I want them to live somewhere where the rich help the poor, rather than figure out how to use them. I want them to live where we mind our own business and aid countries in times of war, rather than take from them.
I want them to live somewhere where people with talent are praised and the talentless forgotten and ignored. I want them to live somewhere where they can live out their old days, enjoying the lives they worked so hard to build. I want them to feel taken care of by the government, not used by it.
I want them to live in a place where money isn't the sole object of desire and materialism is a crime. I want them to live somewhere where everyone is just nice to one another, and doesn't care about religious backgrounds, family histories or native origins. I want them to live somewhere they will always feel safe and protected.
You see, I want them to live in America, but America needs to change first.
Photo via We Heart It