Symbols are powerful and important. Whether the Apple logo or the Nike Swish. Companies spend millions to protect their symbols. We should do the same. The American Flag should be the symbol of all Americans and all leaves on the tree. Mother’s day is a good day to remember our connection to our origins.
Mother’s Day is Sunday and I will be honest, I love my mom but there were times in my youth in which I hated her. However, now, I would be bummed if she wasn’t a part of my life.
Now depending on your philosophical, religious or world view, humanity is either one big tree or a forest of many trees. Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that almost all of us, 8 billion, call the planet Mother Earth. I think we all agree how important of a role a mother plays in our lives. Even those who go without.
So in the simplest terms, our origins begin with mom.
Coming up on ten years ago I had been hired and was planning on working at one of the top international schools in India. I was excited and nervous. The contract was good. The pay high and my contract had been signed.
As the school year sped past and weeks turned to months, I had yet to receive the information I needed for my Indian work visa.
My summer plan was to visit my holiday with my parents in France and then spend the summer surfing in Indonesia.
I sent emails that were always promptly responded to with reassurance that the Visa packet would arrive forthcoming. It arrived the day before my flight to France.
The email response was, “No worry. You may obtain your Indian work visa at any Indian embassy.”
I was relieved. There was an embassy in Jakarta which was my first stop before flying out to Bali.
I had a fun visit with my parents and off I went to Jakarta through Doha, Qatar.
The moment I departed the plane in Doha for a layover, I realized that Toto was not in Kansas anymore. Everything was different. How people interacted with each other. Certainly the languages. All the colorful dress and colors of skin. I was in a cacophony of sound, site, taste and smells.
It didn’t let up in Jakarta. For those who have not been to a big Asian city, it’s hard to explain. There are just a lot of people moving around all the time. My first street crossing on the way to the Indian Embassy had me playing Frogger with a sea of scooters.
But I arrived unscathed at the Embassy with my Visa packet. I handed it to the woman behind the counter. She smiled. I smiled. I thought all was good.
Then she spoke, “You may only acquire an Indian Work Visa in your Country of Origin. You are very highly qualified. Indian students will be glad to have you.”
I didn’t really understand what she said other than it was not good news. I had never heard the term ‘Country of Origin’ before. Then I got it. I would have to fly home to America on my dime and back to get the work visa.
Long story short, I spent the best part of the summer trying to work this out without going home. I failed in the end and landed at another school in Myanmar.
What I learned, though, is how people are viewed as a collective nation. All American are leaves on the same tree. Yet, many on either side of the political divide can’t seem to put their differences aside to find the American solution.
This problem is coming to a head. Many on the Left now view the American flag with disdain because of who it represents. Well, that’s a naïve approach. If you are insulted, that’s on you.
Old Glory represents not only how America was founded but also where it is going and every American dead, alive or yet to be born until our nation falls. I am not proud of the direction that America has chosen to take and certainly not of the decisions that many of our politicians have made. But I am proud, or at least grateful, that I am an American.
I can walk out into my neighborhood today and see ten flags hanging or flying. Like our mothers, we don’t get the luxury of choice. Soem, sadly, spend their lives hating their mothers. Me, I am grateful that my relationship with my mom has healed through a lot of work over time.
I view America in the same fashion. I might not like her today, but wisdom tells me that if I work hard enough, I will love her in the future. If you are anti-flag, marry a foreigner or work towards change. But in the long run, poisoning the tree kills all the leaves of which you are one.
- All works at Observations from the Spectrum written by Dylan Netter
- On? a third point of view – book of Essays
- Marinehippie.com podcast w/ Docstodden.com – dialogue exploring politics and musings of life
- Horizoncoaching.org – English Tutor and Guide