Happy birthday Mom
Happy birthday America and to my mother! Only a mere 243 years ago our nation was born. As an American history teacher, it is our job to educate our students of all the milestones of America. We are such a young country. July 4th 1776 is a huge deal for us as Americans. We challenged the greatest army in the world and were successful. We did it with grit and sacrifice for our posterity. We based our country on freedom for all. I know first row, we learned how the all meant white land-owning men. We have had lots of growing pains and many wars which equals lots of sacrifices. Lots of inequalities have plagued our country. It has taken almost 200 years to rectify and try to give everyone an equal opportunity. We are still struggling with racism and prejudice not just of color but of socioeconomic status as well. Students, this is nothing new. Progress is a struggle. Our country provided opportunities for all even those who came from nothing.
Xenophobia is our word of the day students. Back row you need to listen up. Xenophobia has plagued our country since its beginnings. It has plagued white, black, red, yellow, and tan people. Every type of skin color has experienced xenophobia or racial discrimination. Most of us Americans are such a mixture of nationalities and different ethnic backgrounds. It's so facinating to trace your family tree. We are beautiful mixtures. This is what makes us such an amazingly strong Nation. People came here and still come for the chance to create better lives for their posterity. Students, I don't want to get into a debate about immigration laws but I want us to understand that diversity is a beautiful thing. Yes l, we do need to revamp our immigration system. I understand the hunger literally and physically today's immigrants face. Most really want the chance to work and be an American citizen. Most want a chance to pay taxes and to contribute. Diversity plus unity equals strength.
I just finished a biography about America's first princess. The book chronicles the life of Allene Tew. She lived to be 80. She experienced life through the Gilded Age, WWI, The Roaring Twenties, The Great Depression, WWII, and the start of The Cold War Era. She had five husbands. She lost her only daughter to the Spanish flu and her only son in WWII. She was a second generation American and very savvy with her family's fortune. Her life was riddled with disasters at tragedies. Students, she never gave up. She would pick herself up after each heartbreaking event and make the best of it. That's what I believe we are as Americans. I believe we want the greater good. I believe we are tough. Allene used her wealth to help others and built true friendships in her lifetime. In her last year she wrote about how life is about love for others, relationships, and playing the cards that you are dealt. This is really nothing to new. The story of Jacob in the Bible has the same moral. At the end of Jacob's life, he realized life is not about material things. Remember students, he tricked his father Isaac on his deathbed so he could get the favor of his blessings and the inheritance of the first born son. He inherited the materialistic fortune of his father. Jacob reflected over his life and realized the relationships and people in his life were the ultimate treasure next to his relationship with God. At some point in America our families have been aliens unless you are a Native American. We are all sojourners in this life. We are passing through.
I am so proud to be an American citizen. So many people today who are American citizens take this life we have for granted. Some are trapped in dependence on our welfare system that was created to ease poverty in what was one of the most trying eras in our nation's history. It has created generations apathetic Americans. This generation is not ethnic specific. Our country has handicapped many generations of their ability to get back up and dust themselves off like Allene Tew. Churches in communities eased the burdens of poverty from the beginning in the 1600's and still do today along with several nonprofit organizations. If someone in my small corner of the world goes hungry, it is their own fault. we have so many outreach programs from churches and nonprofits. I am very proud of this. I am also sadden to see misappropriation of government funds. When this happens, children suffer horribly and the circle of poverty spins out of control. Students, we need to work together and find a solution whether we are Independent, Republican, or Democrat.
All of this brings me to my mother. She just turned 80 years old. I literally thank God for her example. There were times that we had to live in government housing and she had to be on welfare. She used it to educate herself and to become gainfully employed. She worked 40 years of her life. She paid her taxes. She paid off her house. She always encouraged us to be respectful to teachers and to get an education. She knew that teachers have the keys to help us to take care of ourselves once we were on our on in this world. She was an Allene Tew. She never gave up and worked for everything she had. She pushed her last little bird to get three college degrees. She chose her children's welfare over relationships with men and alcohol because she did not want us to suffer a scarred childhood riddled with alcoholism. Although my father was an alcoholic, like a strong woman she shielded us as best as she could always putting her children's needs first. She had a strong faith in God and His commandments. We have found notebooks of prayers that she wrote for her children at family. In my home as a little girl there was a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the hallway. When I was scared I would look at it I pray. I could see it from my bed. I'd be able to go to sleep and my fears would be quelled. I don't know where she got the picture. We were not affiliated with any domination or church family. My mother worked long hours and never was able to attend church regularly. I still realized how important Faith was so I would go to any church that would send a bus or go with friends or relatives. This littlest bird became a Catholic and understand now how God had His Scared Heart protecting her little brood of children. The picture was apparently from a Catholic friend.
Be proud to be an American. Give more than you receive. Help the resident alien. Give God the thanks for your blessings. And last but not least, love others as you love yourself. Remember students diversity plus unity equals strength to help us keep our nation strong. Happy Independence Day!
Sal the Patriotic Gal
Sarah Anderson Alley
Quote of the Day:
“I think we’ve been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it’s the government’s job to cope with it. ‘I have a problem, I’ll get a grant.’ ‘I’m homeless, the government must house me.’ They’re casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There’s no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.” – Margaret Thatcher