|Vive la Indepenace|
When we lived overseas I had my eyes opened wider as to the way other cultures lived. There was a blind obedience to the rules in Asia that sometimes left me wondering if they were born without any will to think for themselves. Here's an example for you. One day my family went to a local amusement park on a rainy day. The park was unbelievably empty. We counted ourselves lucky to be away from the crowd in a city of 14 million even if we were a bit soggy. My kids kept wanting to ride the merry-go-round. They were the only ones in sight and yet each time as the ride ended we were escorted out and around and through the chained line-designation space, through the turnstile and back onto the ride. I tried through my often used charades method of conversation, to persuade the worker just to let them stay on their horses instead of getting off and on again one minute later. She would not be convinced. She had been told the rules and she was there to strictly follow them, line or no line. I found this idea so weird. Why couldn't she see the silliness of this? As we drove home the thought came to me that perhaps in a country that has been oppressed by government for so long, free thinking isn't their way. And yet there is room for admiration in that kind of blind obedience. Too much free thinking makes for bad case scenarios in many ways as well. In the USA we have far more crime, corruption, and people basically making poor choices causing chaos. In Seoul Korea there were no guns, no crime, and no one would ever think of doing something to lose face and shame their family or their country's name. We could do with some of that kind of pride (or is it fear of what others may think) over here. American's were somewhat looked down upon by the Koreans was the impression I got. We were fat and lazy. We smelled like cheese. We didn't know how to properly recycle. The US soldiers drank too much and were always getting into trouble. We had no clue how to respect our elders. We were easy to take advantage of. Sloppy dressers who let our homes become cluttered. We did not push our children enough to do well academically, and were always overexposing ourselves to the elements. Silly Americans!
So tonight as I hear the illegal bottle rockets going off in my neighborhood putting us all at risk for a brush fire I am thinking of the hardworking obedient people of Seoul. The ones who would never be so free spirited as to think of doing such a thing. But who also probably could not have produced the likes of Thomas Edison, Betsy Ross, or Joseph Smith for that matter. Happy Independence Day! Let's all cherish our freedoms and treat them with the respect (and boundaries) they deserve.