Skip to main content

We're All Patriots

One of my kids faced an athlete in high school who was pretty much equal in athletic talent. The rivalry between the two was fierce through all four years, but it happened they both went to the same college after graduation. With common goals and the home town us-versus-them mentality removed, they became friends, finding a lot to like in each other and able to recognize their similarities.
The same thing happened to me as a teen. A girl from another town was the sometime date of a guy I also dated on and off. In time we all moved on to other relationships, and once the competition was over, the girl and I found that we really liked each other.
Humans, like other creatures, get pretty territorial, which can make us act in bizarre and unhealthy ways. We refuse to admit to any weaknesses on our own part or any strengths on the part of others. We get pushy, bragging about being Number One when there's actually no such thing. Everyone has good and bad traits: every person, team, school, town, state, and nation. The team that wins the World Cup, World Series, or Superbowl might have a terrible atmosphere, while the team in the cellar might be a great bunch of people who enjoy what they do. It's all in the measuring stick used, but we all try to claim that Number One spot. We forget that even if we won today, tomorrow holds no promises for continued success.
Patriotism is a wonderful thing. It's a joy to hear our national anthem, to thank a veteran for service to this country, to be proud of what America has accomplished in the world.
But we need to remember what the poet of "Finlandia" says: that other countries
have blue skies, too, and other people love their homelands.
On the Fourth this year, it's right and good to celebrate our national heritage, to show national pride.
It is wrong, though, to believe that because we love our country, it's better than all the others.
I happen to think the eighty acres I own is the most beautiful place on earth, but I bet there are some who would disagree. 


Popular posts from this blog

Book Clubs Take Note: Discussion Guide: Sister Saint, Sister Sinner

  When I sent Sister Saint, Sister Sinner to my editor, she was (as usual) helpful about pointing out areas that needed more development, parts that repeated information already given, and places where the logic  temporarily failed. At the end, she made a comment that stuck with me: "People are going to be talking about the things you deal with in this book." To me, that meant the story was destined for book clubs. Having visited a few in my years of writing, I knew that they often begin with a list of discussion topics. Now, they often don't stay focused on them, and that's okay. Sometimes it's the wine. Sometimes it's a natural progression. But discussion leaders like having questions that can get the conversation back on track when it strays too far from the story. Every person who reads a book gets something out of it that no one else does. I had the experience once of visiting a book group where one reader didn't like the book and kept bringing up her

What Do You Have of Grandma's?

My grandmother died on my birthday in 1968. We couldn't wish her back, since she'd been in a lot of pain for a long time. Later, I helped Mom clean out her house, and we came upon her sewing basket. For some reason I asked if I could have it, and my mother said yes. I still have it. I think of her every time I take it out of its cupboard, though I can't think of a single time I saw Grandma sewing. It's hers, and that's enough. My other grandmother was the type who asked her progeny what they wanted of her things long before she died. One day when I was visiting I told her about my new hobby, refinishing old furniture. Pointing to a table that had always sat in her living room, she explained that as a young woman she too had taken up that task. The classic-style table was cherry wood, she told me, and she had rescued it from somewhere and given it new life with elbow grease and varnish. "Maybe you'll want it when I'm gone," she said, and I readi

A Story for My Peeps--And a Sale for My E-books

        December-r-r E-BOOK SALE      You might know about Smashwords. To be honest, I don’t know much. But one of my publishers, Draft2Digital, recently acquired Smashwords, so they are one entity. Smashwords invited all D2D authors to join their December e-book sale, so I did.   From December 15 to December 30, 2022, (the kickoff to the real winter season in my home state of Michigan), all of my e-books, both Maggie Pill and Peg Herring titles, will be half off. Fifty percent. Basically, two for the price of one. Is that cool (winter reference) or what? As a rule of thumb, Maggie Pill books are cozy mysteries, (e.g. the Sleuth Sisters & the Trailer Park Tales series) meaning they’re funny (I think), small-townish, and as non-violent as one can get when the story centers on murder. Peg Herring books are all over the map, because I write the story that interests me at any given time. Those who’ve been with me throug