14 August, 2010

This is My Country

I'm having such a great time on our trip. It's really amazing to me how diverse the land...and the people are in this great country. I may be liberal, but the conservatives can't steal my love of country or my ability to display the flag at my house, though you probably won't finding me with a flag lapel pin any time soon. I love this country, and my heart swells with pride when I think about how lucky I am to have been born here, and had the ability to have an education, and marry the person I wanted to marry. Knowing I can raise my children with clean water, and an abundance of food,  instilling our family's take on religion without persecution. And we can travel freely from place to place, without fear. It is truly a privilege to live here.

Visiting Washington, D.C., looking at all of the monuments to some of the greatest community builders the world has ever seen, makes me weepy. Our first President, George Washington, leading a group of disparate people in unity to help build our country. Abraham Lincoln, who held the country together, when slavery, and economics nearly shredded the fabric of the new nation beyond repair. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, seeing clearly that each person had value, and as a society we have a moral obligation to take care of each other, a concept that presses upon me as a parent of a special needs child who will always be on the receiving end of society's beneficence.

The amount of leadership and personal integrity those people must have displayed is astounding. I've already mentioned how moved I was by the John Adams series, and the personality traits it brought to light for us all these years later. I think anytime I see great leadership, or community building I am moved. BlogHer'10 gave me some great moments, especially watching Lisa Stone, an amazing community builder herself,  interview the the International Activist Blogger Scholarship recipients.

The speakers:
Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai, Sri Lanka, publisher of Humanity Ashore
Esra'a Al Shafei, Bahrain
, publisher at www.mideastyouth.com
Freshta Basij-Rasikh, Afghanistan, writer for the Afghan Women's Writing Project
Marie Trigona, Argentina, publisher of Latin American Activism
I was especially excited to hear Esr'a Al Shafei speak with such passion. I think my favorite quote was. "If you're going to piss a lot of people off you better do it very well." Which is exactly what the founding framers of this great nation did when they cleaved our future nation from the Crown.

myBoy at the FDR memorial in Washington, D.C.
It was an honor to hear those women speak, and a great feeling to be a part of BlogHer. I've met many wonderful women, who are now part of my community, my little world of Special Needs, and the advocacy and activism that come with it. 

And while I'm not saying that the International speakers are in the same exact same category as Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt, in many ways they are. They are trying to make unheard voices heard, finding a way for their needs to be given credence. They are sewing up differences between religions and cultures, and encouraging a fresh perspective on old topics. And with their work, so important, and probably unappreciated for many years, they are reminding us to value the least of us, and to honor the best in us. 


I do hope you're following us along on our cross country adventure. http://www.haveautismwilltravel.blogspot.com
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