Last week at a social gathering I was told that I had nothing good to say about the US. Maybe what has happened is that I am so concerned with the dangers I foresee for the present and future generations of this country, that I have forgotten to remind others and myself about the good things that I see here.

First of all I’d like to recall history and one of the things I remember from not long ago was the civic spirit that used to reign here.  People used to participate more in the political issues of the country.  Nowadays, people are very apathetic about what goes on.  Usually people do not participate because they do not care, or they think things are useless and nothing good ever comes out of dialogue and participation.

I continue to see great activism but once the respective electoral process ends, the activism disappears.  

I can see the inner strength of a society that cares about what happens to others but lacks alot of information about how the political processes are functioning and who is really making the decisions that affect us all.  The political process has been affected by moneys coming from groups of interest that look after their own benefit and not the general well being.

For many decades now the lobbying groups who nominate and support some candidates, are the true power behind any decision concerning foreign trade and even militarism.  Information through the regular media does not provide enough elements to analyze what is happening.  Besides having a lot of information does not mean having knowledge.  It seems that our accumulative way of learning is to focus on gathering pieces of information from everywhere, many times in a repetitive way. We need enough time to reflect and listen to other perspectives different from our own.

Volunteerism is the backbone of this society.  I dare say that half of what gets accomplished in behalf of the people in need, is done by volunteers.  It is absolutely incredible the amount of hours spent by volunteers who care for others, teach, guide, give information and do all sorts of services for others.  

Behind the activism and volunteerism is the heart of people who care about others.  They care not only about the people here but also abroad.  Every time there is a catastrophe any where in the world, the people of the United States actively take part in providing assistance to those in need.

I see many good things happening in this country.  I am afraid people abroad do not have the opportunity of meeting the people, the good people from this country.  On the contrary, they see their daily lives affected by globalization, militarization and wars that  originate in this country.  

If we do not use the power that we have to make people aware of these situations, we are endangering the younger generations, we are exposing them to the hate created while we were ignorant of our own history and the role we play here and abroad.

I think the US has a lot to offer, but it also has a lot to learn about itself and others.