I don’t watch Oprah Winfrey’s show regularly, though, unlike many, I admire her greatly. Being the Capitalist Running Jackal that I am, I can’t help but admire Ms.Winfrey for working hard and being duly rewarded for it and then some. Though I sometimes disagree with her take on topics, she can be right on target in just as many other cases.
Today, I tuned in and Oprah’s subject moved me to tears many times. Her guests were immigrants, born in mostly Third World countries, who became Americans. Mirroring her personal transformation from a poor, abused Mississippi girl to one of the richest people in America, she reminded us native-born Americans, especially women, just how blessed we are to have been born in this country.
Americans born in diverse places such as Ethiopia, Cambodia, Guyana, Afghanistan and Ireland told their stories of mortal peril, disease and near starvation in their countries of origin. They told of places where women were forbidden to learn to read, forbidden to speak their minds, forbidden to dress in a manner of choosing. A Cambodian woman told of living with the fear of being gang-raped to death as political revenge against her family.
One young man—a recent Harvard grad--whose family had escaped from chronically war-torn and starvation-ridden Ethiopia’s refugee camps when he was a small boy, told of his first encounter with an American supermarket. He said that there were so many varieties of cat food alone that he thought “cats ran the world.”
Irish-born novelist Frank McCourt, of Angela’s Ashes fame, told of never having had enough food to become full enough to leave some on his plate; he spoke of bitter laughter when reading of Americans going on diets.
Me? This native-born American with an American-educated, Kenyan father who rails against America in his newspaper on an intermittent basis, thanks God regularly that I was born and raised here. I can blog about my opinions, my life, and my right-leanings to my heart’s (and my wallet’s) content.
If the worst thing I ever have to worry about is a troll ‘knocking’ on my virtual door, all while living in a nice house, making a decent living and having more than enough to eat, I can say that God has definitely blessed me, indeed.