Why I Am Extremely Thankful to Live in America

I love Egypt. I went there last year, and I loved it. I loved the history and the tourism, but I really loved the people. That was the biggest surprise of the trip, how much I loved the people and how much I learned from them. I think there is much that Americans can learn from the people in Egypt as I wrote about here.

However, going to Egypt made me see America with new eyes. I appreciated many of the things that I had taken for granted. Here are ten blessings that make me extremely thankful to live in America. I made this list shortly after returning from Egypt last year, but I fleshed it out for July 4th. Here they are, but they are not ranked in order of importance.

  1. The availability of jobs and economic opportunity. In Egypt and many other places, you often have to work very hard just to survive. In America, you can work hard and thrive. You can get ahead. There are virtually innumerable opportunities to advance. You can work one job during the week and add extra hours on the weekend. America affords amazing opportunities to make money and get ahead for almost anyone who wants to and has the ability.
  2. Toilets that work and in which you can flush toilet paper. The first night I was in Cairo I was somewhat surprised to learn that you can’t put toilet paper in the toilet. It will clog the public water system. It’s something that simple and that we take for granted, but the ubiquity of good water and plumbing systems is a huge blessing.
  3. Regular trash service. In Egypt, the trash often sits there for a long period of time. I have been in many places where they simply pile up trash because that’s what they have to do. We have systems for these things, and they are reliable and efficient. It is a huge blessing that we don’t have to figure out what to do with all the trash we generate.
  4. Completed buildings. One thing that is surprising in Egypt is how many uncompleted buildings there are. It gives them a tax advantage not to complete their buildings. As a result, they don’t finish them. That makes total sense in terms of their family interest, but it doesn’t look good. I’m thankful that we have so many completed buildings. It looks much better.
  5. Plenty of space for single family houses. It’s amazing how we take for granted the fact that we can enjoy single family houses separate from one another. In much of the world, houses are crammed right next to one another. In America, with hard work and often some help, you can own your own single family housing. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to enjoy your own outdoor space. It is very common here. Approximately 70% of Americans live in single family housing. Many who don’t want to and eventually will.
  6. Abundant education opportunities. While it is true that the rich often have more educational opportunities, education is very democratic in the U.S. People have access to good education. This is not always true around the world. In other countries, the good schools are for the elites. We have much better opportunities here.
  7. Ease of learning English. The overwhelming majority who live here have the opportunity to grow up speaking English either in home or in school. This is a blessing that we have that not everyone has that we often take for granted, but it opens up all kinds of doors around the world. It’s really a marvel that we have the opportunity here to learn without much effort the most widely used language in the world.
  8. Abundant food. When I have gone to other countries, I have had the opportunity to eat a lot of great food. It makes me sad, though, that in many of those countries, people do not have access to that kind of food. In America, we have an abundance of cheap food. We are major food producer. If we are out of one thing, we can substitute it with another. It is a real blessing to have food security.
  9. Freedom and opportunities for women. In many other countries, the opportunities for women are much more limited. Here, women can do whatever they want. They can say what they want. There is relative equality in the home. They can go into the world and work in whatever field they desire. I am thankful for these opportunities.
  10. Orderly driving. I live in an area of the country that can have “crazy” traffic by American standards. However, even the craziest traffic here is extremely orderly compared with many other countries. It may be busy, but people drive in an orderly way. It’s rather astonishing really.

This list came from the thoughts that occurred to me after traveling, but there are many more things I could list. I am extremely thankful to live in America with all its blessings, opportunities, and freedoms. In some ways, I can’t believe that I had the blessing of being born here. It’s such a great opportunity. I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to travel to help me see the things that are here that I take for granted. July 4th is a day worth celebrating and reveling in. Happy 4th of July everyone!


Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Freedom and opportunities for women.
Orderly driving.


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