Driving around town over the holiday weekend I am always struck by the sheer beauty of Montana. The green Bridgers we appreciate in the spring and summer are just as impressive wearing a mantel of snow.

I was always told that going to Vietnam during wartime would help me appreciate America more. That didn’t happen to me. I appreciated America just as much coming home as I did the day I left.

I have lived in Illinois, Texas, Georgia, and California. One thing I have realized is that no matter where you go — American’s are pretty much all the same.

They might have different accents, different ways of doing things, different food choices and varying climates but they are friendly, kind and giving in every way.

I have always been helped by the kindness of strangers as I navigated my way through life from border to border. It seemed that whenever I needed a job I found one.

If times were bad it was only temporary. America gave me the very best chance of anywhere on earth to achieve success.

Winning Life’s Lottery

Over 3 billion people on earth have to survive on less than $2.00 per day. That’s $730 a year.

I have always felt that being born in the United States of America was the equivalent of winning life’s lottery. Six billion people in the world and I was fortunate enough to end up in the middle of the greatest nation on earth.

How lucky is that?

But We’re Not Perfect

To say that America is exceptional is to lessen the word “exceptional.” America is so much more.

Yes, we are not perfect but we are “self-correcting.” We no longer have slavery; while prejudice and racism are still with us there is less of it than there was just 10 years ago.

Opportunities to be the very best you can be, to achieve your goals and dreams, are an impossibility in most places on earth — but not in the USA.

Some Final Thoughts

We still have work to do but as the preamble to the constitution says, “to form a more perfect union.” Will we ever have a perfect union — probably not.

But we are on the road to be better than we were.

We know the goals but achieving them is an evolutionary process that can’t be forced.

On this Thanksgiving weekend think about all you have. And where you would be without it. You won life’s lottery. Enjoy it.

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