Thursday, January 22, 2009
I am enjoying this year so far, aren't you?
We have somewhat of a plan for our future now, a future that is made much brighter by the dynamic President Obama. How amazing that feels to write. During times like these of great national importance in America, I have to consider what it is I am doing here. Am I unpatriotic because I choose to live abroad? No, in fact, I believe I am part of the new age that President Obama referred to in his speech. I am not thinking about borders or boundaries. I am a global citizen though culturally I am an American and proud to be so.
Living in Japan with my family, we are working against negative stereotypes and hopefully helping to open up a few minds and hearts in the process. We are the only Americans in our little island chain. We make up half of the foreign population on this island. If we go outside of our little circle, there are stares and echos of "gaijin-san" (foreigners, though I think it is nice that they add the honorific san to the end of it). We might be the only Americans some of these people ever meet so we must represent our home country to the best of our abilities. We strive to be kind and generous, understanding and patient, open and welcoming. These qualities were cultivated in us as Americans and though we may falter occasionally, we do not forsake these core traits. It might be a small part but it is our part and it is how we know best to serve our country at this time.
I know that the road ahead is not smooth but seeing all those people gathered in the Washington Mall to watch President Obama's address made me feel part of a force united to work towards a better world, thousands of voices crying "Yes".