I think I was offered 10k to move to Europe and denounce my US citizenship. Interesting temptation but unfortunately the offer didn’t come with a job. The proposal came as part of a facebook discussion on the subject of socialism, European examples of socialism and an American comparison. A sort of “America: Love it or leave it” debate. And quite honestly, I wouldn’t mind leaving it. Not forever. I like America but getting out and seeing the world does a person good. Personally, I don’t think America is the greatest country in world. I don’t know for sure where the greatest country lies but it isn’t America. A country still struggling from the wrongs of slavery, discrimination and inequality doesn’t make for the greatest country ever. In fact the US is the 13th best nation according to the 2009 United Nation Development Programme United Nation Development Programme’s HDI Rankings. And I think a few obvious reasons contribute to United States’ lack of cracking the top ten: war, discrimination, poverty and elitism.
I look at the US like I do my alma mater Oklahoma State. OSU doesn’t have the best football program or (in general) highly ranked academics; but I still love OSU and still passionately cheer for my team no matter the sport, the game or the endeavor. I’m a proud Cowboy as I am a proud American – but also a realist and can see truth. OSU is a great school but it isn’t Harvard. OSU has a great football program but we aren’t USC. OSU does have the greatest wrestling program but not the greatest school of journalism. But I can recognize the faults of my Cowboys as I can recognize the faults of my country. It doesn’t make me any less faithful to either my beloved Cowboys or my beloved country.
But yes, I would love to live abroad. I would welcome any opportunity that allowed my family to live and experience life immersed in another country and culture. I fully believe that the more you can experience in life the more fulfillment you gain. I also would love for my daughter to have an opportunity to attend a more prestigious school than OSU if given the chance. Why wouldn’t I want something better for my country as I do for my children?
America IS great. Is it the greatest? Not yet. America is young, has a lot to learn, but full of potential. It is too bad that many Americans live with their minds so closed they can’t see the possibilities. Does that mean we have to completely imitate Europe? No, but there are some great examples out there of countries that take good care of their citizens. And another thing, the rest of the world doesn’t want to be America. We are envied by some but not by all. Without a doubt the US is a great world power that takes the responsibility very seriously and is superb at helping other nations in need; for that I’m proud. Because I really am a proud American. A proud American that believes that change can be good and it is okay to admit faults and recognize what others do great. I love the US but sure, if given the chance to live abroad, I’d go. But I don't want to give up my US citizenship just yet (I have faith this great country can rise to its potential) so I'll decline that ten-grand offer.
Love it or leave it—I’d like to do both, thank you!