This is not a post about religion or politics. If you disagree with my opinion please keep it to yourself, I will delete any comment relating to a flame war that typically comes out of anything that touches someone’s religious or political view.
I have been misfortunate enough to be born in a country that was ruled by a combination of religious corruption and political corruption for centuries. From the days of romans, to the Ottoman empire and Islam, to the communisim and the void of religion but full of dictatorship and corruption to the eventual relapse to Christianity which lead to ethnic and religious genocide and more. I have vowed never to return to that country and typically excuse myself from conversations that talk about “the good ol’ times” or how awesome that place is – so awesome that it has one of the worst employment levels in EU, lowest standard of living and the only folks who think highly of it don’t happen to actually live there.
I now live in United States and am immensely proud of this country and what it stands for. We got all sorts of freaks here and yet we manage to not kill each other most of the time.
Some of the folks that didn’t pay attention to history classes in high school or got their history lessons from their pastors stick to the mistaken notion that USA is a “christian nation”. It’s not. As a matter of fact, one of our founding fathers wrote an edited version of the Bible free of all the supernatural stuff that scares people into organized ignorance. I have nothing against Jesus, I was born and raised in the Christian household… but one of the things I am most proud of when it comes to America is that we’ve left Jesus behind and embraced the age of personal responsibility and embraced what it truly means to be an American:
Right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
America has successfully transformed everything that was religious about holidays and attached it to commercial principles that make America great. You’re free to practice any religion you wish but Christmas is about the presents and the tree. Easter is about the chocolate bunnies and colored eggs.
This is Walmart, unapologetically one of America’s greatest companies and as much as folks may hate it, the true spirit of America. It’s cheap. It outsources to China mercilessly in pursuit of the lowest price. Oh, and one more thing:
Vlad: Hi, what are your hours today?
Walmart: We never close.
America is not about Jesus, or god, or Allah. America is about us. Americans. About what we want, about what is important to us – without judgment of others.
And believe me, Walmart was packed. Chick-fil-A was closed today as it is on every Sunday. And it works for them. But Walmart was open. And everyone at Walmart that was working (and that I thanked for working today) was happy to be there and in a good mood. Happy to be working. Happy to be making money because when the times got hard we got back to what really matters in life: happiness.
Don’t get me wrong – there are many religious, political and special interest groups that would love for us to live according to their rules, their god, worship their way of life and their religious law. It works in Israel. It works in middle eastern Sharia-law countries. It works in Vatican. It works in Utah. It works at the cost of other religions: where if you’re not worshiping the right god you’re subject to prosecution, genocide or social alienation. It does not work in America.
Money is not the root of all evil. Money can and does buy you happiness – or nobody would work. Ever. In this country, regardless of our religion or upbringing or political affiliation – we work and we work hard. To earn the way of life we want and live it freely as we wish.
That is what makes us great.