Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Book Review

How to Raise an American by Mrna Blyth and Chriss Winston is one of those books that we all need to own. It's fine to check this one out of the library to enjoy, but you will really want to obtain a copy to keep.

It is packed with great information, including heart-warming stories to make all American hearts swell with pride, insightful questions to spark lively discussions at the dinner table, and fun ideas for making American holidays special.

It is a sad truth that the honor of being an American is largely lost on the younger generations of today. It is our duty as parents to pass along the information that is not being relayed by the media and popular culture. Political satire is much more acceptable than patriotism, and I do not want those attitudes to be adopted by my family.

Yes, it is true that the leaders of our country are flawed in many areas, but their failings do not negate the universal truth that living in America is a dream for much of the world. Through no merit of our own, we were simply blessed by God to be born in the good old U. S. of A., and it's about time we acknowledged it.

Blyth and Winston assert that three groups of people tend to be the most patriotic: immigrants, military families, and Americans of faith.

Immigrants to the United States are much more aware of the privilege of living in this land of freedom and opportunity. Their unique position allows them to compare America to the rest of the world and note the contrast. They are less likely to feel entitled to all of the luxuries Americans naturally enjoy and actually appreciate them. What a novel idea!

Military families know first-hand the sacrifice it takes to preserve our nation and its freedoms. My mom has often said that having an active member of the military in our family makes us more patriotic, and I fully agree. My dad and my grandfather are both veterans, and my brother-in-law is our country's finest Marine. It's not a good idea to talk trash about the military at our family gatherings.

We see what my sister does at home so that her husband can serve our country. It's not easy to bid farewell to the man she loves for a year, knowing he won't return until their child has been born. Any mom whose husband travels on business can begin to sympathize, but week-long business trips just can't compare to knowing your spouse is in a war zone day after day.

Americans of faith recognize the importance of counting their blessings. They have been taught to acknowlege the wonderful things given to them by God and to be thankful. In this mindset, we can deal with the shortcomings of the nation and its people by seeing the positives in the big picture.

Another excellent section in this book is a collection of ideas to resurrect the American spirit during our patrioitic holidays. There is great information to help you teach your children the significance of holidays like Flag Day or Armistice Day which have somehow lost their luster.
Won't it be great to have this resource to consult throughout the year? If you hurry, you can be ready for Decoration Day, coming this month!

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