I once received a call from one of our wonderful residents who wanted to tell me about her life and how it might inspire or help others.
As she spoke, I began to think about an idea for another column that might help or bring comfort to someone else. I could literally feel the passion and love for community and country in her voice. The more she spoke, the more impressed and amazed I became about just how much she loved her city and her country. Even though I was already thinking about a column based on her amazing life, I heard every word she was saying. Like writing a hit song on a napkin while having lunch, as she spoke I had to write my thoughts down to keep from missing any part of this wonderful and heartfelt true-life story. You know, the kind of true-life story that instantly makes you feel blessed yourself.
You see, this wonderful human being wasn't born in this country; she was born in another country and wanted to tell me what a wonderful country she lived in. She wanted to let me know that she loved her country, and that it literally broke her heart when she heard someone degrade, bash or take for granted what a wonderful country she lived in. If you heard her story, you would understand and feel what I felt. You would feel through another human being's words how much they appreciated what we have to offer in this country and what a stark contrast it was in comparison to the country from which she came. Even more impressive was that this wonderful lady has lived in this country for many, many years now and still truly appreciates what a wonderful country she lives in.
I felt a little ashamed because even I sometimes take for granted all of the many blessings our wonderful country has to offer. You see, I was born here and don't have anything else to compare it to. When you have something each and every day, like a roof over your head, clothes on your back, shoes on your feet and food in your belly, it's easy to take it all for granted. When you live in a country where brave men and women volunteer their freedom and time away from family, friends and creature features to keep you and your country and the world safe, all while risking their lives, you sometimes take it for granted.
Just like family, friends, health and most anything else in life, it's easy to take it for granted when you've always had it. For those who never had it and got it, they get it. For those who had it and had it taken away, they get it.
This very special lady's story is quite impressive and truly life-changing. I understand and now have a greater respect for the United States of America, the fine men and women who protect it and how truly blessed I am to call it home. The passion of her words and love for the United States of America and her fellow citizens will hopefully touch your heart in the same way it touched mine. I know I loved my family, friends, community, country and fellow citizens before but must admit I respect, admire, adore and love them even more now.
In closing, you never know what another person is dealing with, what they have been through or what any of us will go through today or in the future. But one thing's for sure: we are all blessed in more ways than we will ever know. Life is truly amazing, wonderful and life-changing when you realize each and every day just how truly blessed we all are.
God bless you, and God bless the U.S.A.