I’m not political, but…here are a few thoughts

September 2001

Before I left for England and our visit to Fox Hill B&B in London specifically, I had never been out of the USA.  Before we left California, Marcie said to me, quoting a dear friend of hers that “Traveling changes you”.  Never was a truer word spoken!

The first time we sat at the table with this wonderful family and their friends and guests, I hadn’t really thought about another countries perspective.   It’s not that I wasn’t interested, I just hadn’t had the opportunity.  My life was spent trying to learn what the hell I was supposed to do with it.  I wasn’t really expected to do anything.  Not get an education or a career.  Just get married and raise a family.  I think that’s true for a lot of women my age.  My mother taught me very well how to clean, cook, shop, balance a checkbook, etc.  I certainly had no great aspirations to be anything other than that, with one exception….I was curious.  I really am interested in almost anything. If not the actual thing, then the history of it.  So sitting around the table, my cousin and I, our English hosts, assorted friends and a German student, I was disappointed by my ignorance.

The first thing that struck me was how much the young people there knew about world leaders.  With the exception of my college age daughter, my children wouldn’t have a clue who they were talking about or where they belong.  I had heard the names in the news, but hadn’t really stopped to think of what they stand for.  My children and their friends could tell you about the newest technology, what were the best stores at the mall and which movie stars were an item. At that time, they could quote movie lines and knew all kinds of music, but not so much about world policy.

We asked our new friends to please be candid with us and we wouldn’t be insulted.  The first thing they said was that they didn’t really want to mention what an idiot our president appears to be.  We laughed and said “no worries there, we feel the same”!

I guess I was surprised at how international England is, I don’t think I expected that.  I probably shouldn’t have been, they’re a lot closer than we are.  They were really much more knowledgeable about foreign policy than I ever hoped to be.

They see America as trying to tell the rest of the world how they should live. This didn’t surprise me because I agree with that and think we should take care of our own problems instead of always butting into everyone else’s business.  I don’t mean we shouldn’t always help when we can,  just do it for the right reasons, not a price.

They also talked quite a bit about how Americans use the worlds resources.  They feel like we have so much that we waste,  more than any other people.

I sincerely hope that it is changing, but Sue sent me this clip of an HBO show this morning.  I don’t have HBO and I haven’t heard of this show before.  I’ve posted it below.  It made me cry to see this because it is truer now than it’s ever been.  I like to think at the end of his speech that he says “but it could be”.  At least I hope…




4 thoughts on “I’m not political, but…here are a few thoughts

  1. I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a gentleman from Hungary. He does not read my blog, but he told me that is glad he was educated in Europe. He said that the young people here aren’t taught all of the things they teach in Europe and most of them can’t even read or write, let alone add a figure in their head.
    He also said that if we are going to change anything, it will be the majority of the people that decide we aren’t going to take the mediocre government anymore and actually stand up and change it. He is old enough to be my father and has been in this country for 56 years because he had to flee Hungary during a civil war. Really interesting guy and speaks from experience. I love talking to different people!


  2. As the teacher of high-school age students who come from other countries, I’m always struck by how different their attitudes are towards parents, teachers–other students even–when they have moved here during their high school years after having been educated somewhere else. They seem more respectful, more open to instruction and ideas, far more interested in history and world events than many of the students I see who grew up here….their perspective often makes me reflect on my own ideas and opinions, and I have learned much from teaching these young people. Like you, I love learning about differences & meeting new people, and am thankful to have a job where I have the opportunity to learn so much doing my day-to-day tasks.


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