1. When I was in Guatemala I noticed these two kids carrying fire wood to their families a few miles up the hill. It made me realize how fortunate I was as a child to go to school during the day. It made me ashamed for not appreciating it enough.
2. In a small village near Lake Atitlan, Guatemala I met two of the happiest women I have ever come across. They made all of their clothing from scratch – including the fabric and dyes. It made me realize just how lucky I am to have a closet full of clothes. I also realized how much I took for granted.
3. A few months ago in Japan I befriended a few of the locals. I was amazed at the number of languages they knew and their knowledge of regional history and religion. I said a few words in Spanish and told a few stories about American history. Then I remembered what a conservative friend said in regards to learning a second language not too long ago: “If you’re in America, you speak English. Why should I learn Spanish for them?” Then I realized most of us can’t even name the capital of Mexico (hint: Mexico City).
4. At a church right outside Antigua, Guatemala I was told this women walks about 5 miles a day to attend Mass. I drive a mile to the gym, to run 5 miles.
5. While I was in New York City I was amazed at the number of people from around the world and their excitement to catch a glimpse at Lady Liberty. America is still the default symbol for freedom and liberty around the world. I’m proud of that.