We all say this and we mean it and I love hearing it. I think it should be repeated time and again. In fact, I tend to get chills when I hear it. I am thankful to have been born in the USA where are free to worship as we please and where we can proclaim “God Bless America” anytime we want.
Then I think – how long has it been since any of us – myself included – have truly taken time to think what those words really mean? What would our lives have been like had we been born in Africa, or Asia or the Middle East?
My husband Larry made a trip to Tanzania a few years ago in which he was able to combine his love for photography with his interest in other cultures.
Photography, in my opinion, is most aptly defined as being made up of science, art and opportunity—but it’s passion that drives the photographer; passion in the belief that the images you are creating will convey the emotions you are feeling as the shutter clicks.
The following two images were taken in Tanzania about 35 miles from Mt. Kilimanjaro and I believe they convey that passion:
Ansel Adams once said, “Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter”. I think that God was ready for someone to click the shutter on the day these images were made because they convey such a powerful message. A picture is truly worth a thousand words.
How different do you think the lives of these two beautiful young children would have been had they been born in the USA? How many opportunities are presented to our children by virtue of their birthplace?
And sometimes I even have to wonder, why does God bless America and not other places? I don’t know the answers but it makes me feel grateful and blessed to be an American.
We sing the song “God Bless the USA” and we say the words, but until we experience the culture of a people who live more primitively in 2012 than our founders did hundreds of years ago, do we really know what it means? The children of Tanzania have smiles as big as Texas and a thirst for knowledge—yet they have no schools. They live in a culture where children as young as six years old take the family livestock out to graze on government-owned land. Their homes are more primitive than the structures we build to protect our farm animals.
When you experience things like this, you come home knowing how very fortunate we are, simply by virtue of being born an American citizen.
May God bless us all and may God bless America.