A reflection on Presidents Day

Mount Rushmore

With Presidents Day coming to a close, I wanted to dedicate a blog post to the good old George Washington. It’s awful to say, but I usually spend the holidays (excluding the major ones) in my room or at the library to complete homework assignments for the next day. Case in point: Today I woke up at 10:30 a.m. and barely took a break to eat lunch and dinner. I almost feel as if I am dishonoring Washington and the other American presidents by not exploring historic Boston or reading a history book on a day like today.

But this year especially, I thought I would reflect on my gratitude for being an American citizen. When I think life is rough and am dissatisfied about minor things, I remember the people suffering in other nations around the world. I watched a 2011 World Protests video on YouTube, which summarizes – by country, in alphabetical order – many of the uprisings that have been occurring in the world since the beginning of the year. In less than two months, people have protested gas prices, unemployment, dictatorships, wage cuts, minority rights, higher education fees, corrupt politicians, unfair corporate practices, restrictions on freedom of speech and the unfulfilled promise of free and fair elections, to name a few.

Current Arab world protests

It seems the gap between the rich and the poor is reaching its peak as people of the same generation are protesting throughout the world because they are concerned for the future of their children. There is overall dissatisfaction in places other than the Middle East. Until watching the video I didn’t realize how naive I was about current uprisings – some just beginning and others stemming from recurring debates and frustrations. Protests don’t guarantee reform, as seen in Egypt, but they certainly validate a reason to speak out against discontent.

First inserted photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Second inserted photo from Wikimedia Commons.

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