March 16, 2011

Why I'm Grateful to Be a Brit: Guest Post by Rachel

Kings College Chapel, Cambridge 
(probably England’s most famous image outside of London)

We’re a nation of complainers and moaners, us Brits.

Whatever happens we can always find the gloomy side of things.  An island full of Eeyores.
We obsess about the weather, when it rains, when it doesn’t rain.  When it snows the country grinds to a halt and we all say we’ve never seen anything like it.  Even though we saw it last winter, and anyway snow in winter isn’t that much to write home about.

Then when it’s hot we wave our arms about and tell anyone who’ll listen that we like it warm, but this is too warm.

We don’t believe in heroes – we put people on pedestals so we can tear them down again.  Except footballers.  Football is a religion and the players are the archangels themselves.
We complain about a government that nobody voted in (but somebody must have done).
We complain about immigration, even though 25000 of us emigrate to Australia alone every year.

Every other nation in the world hates us (apparently).  But that’s OK.  We’re not overly fond of ourselves.

And our media can create hysterical fear out of ordinary everyday events.
Why?  Because nothing ever happens here.  And I mean that in the best possible way.

I believe Britain to be one of the safest, freest, most democratic country in the world and sometimes us complacent Brits forget how lucky we are.

Lucky to live in a country where gun laws are so strict.

Lucky to live in a country where abortion and contraception are free.  Where maternity leave is a given, where we get holiday and sick pay. Where we can have that X-Ray or operation without worrying if our insurance will cover it.

Lucky to have freedom of expression, freedom of belief, freedom of religion (whatever lies the Daily Mail might tell you).

And lucky to live in a cloudy, grey, damp climate where other weather doesn’t really happen.
Yes we may all have bad teeth and a Vitamin D deficiency but when I wake up to news of a devastating earthquake in Japan, just a day after China and weeks after New Zealand, I am filled with gratitude for the grey and the damp.  For the fact that the most exciting our weather ever gets is getting stuck on the M25 in some sleet or sleeping through the tiniest earth tremor since records began.  That apart from that Really Rather Big Wind in 1987 we don’t have hurricanes or tornadoes, cyclones or whirlwinds.  Yes we have floods sometimes, but really in comparison….

My thoughts are with Japan, with China, with New Zealand, with countries all over the world without human rights, without freedom of expression.

Let’s take a deep breath and not moan for an hour or two and instead be grateful to live on this boring, uneventful, grey little island.

-Thank you, Rachel, from the Suburban Yogi blog

15 comments:

  1. I've spent most of the past 7 years living in France. There's nothing like living abroad to make you appreciate your homeland. The NHS has its problems but at least it's free. France may have a first rate healthcare system but its expensive. The weather may not be all that great for much of the time but at least we don't have tens of thousands of old people dying every time there's a heatwave. The separation of church and state in France and the official policy of 'colour blindness' means that in truth racism rages unchecked and religious intolerance is commonplace because of a lack of dialogue and understanding. We have a lot to be grateful for in the UK. If we all gave up reading the newspapers we'd probably be a lot happier. Thanks for sharing this post

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  2. There couldn't be a be better way of saying this. We need to be more appreciative.
    As an NHS worker, it might be interesting to know on a side note to the last comment that ex-pats want to utilise our facilities while on vacation ...and are prepared to spend their hard earned money on it.

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  3. Thank you both for your informative comments! I'm sure that there are many, many sides to all these issues. I know that in America if you have 10 Americans gathered together, you probably have 10 completely different viewpoints on domestic and foreign policy! However, it's best to be grateful for what we have :)

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  4. I love that "grey little island"! Could use a few days there right about now!

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  5. Very good post. I'm so grateful to be a citizen of the UK and I'd hate for these awful SNP people to tear it apart - and I am Scottish! Thank God I don't live in the USA where I would have to worry about the cost of health care - why do people hate President Obama for trying to introduce compulsory free healthcare? Bewildering! But then again I believe the vast majority of Americans are not the ones we Brits see who are (1) New York; and (2) California. We forget about all the horrid rednecks in between (like Bush) who may speak English but are a peasant society not like us at all.

    Thank God for being British and long may it continue! (We live in Portugal by the way, where they have the same progressive views as in Britain.)

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    Replies
    1. Americans dont' want to be socialized. "Free" health care is not free. My entire family works in health care and already Obama-care has limited access to some people, not increased it. Taxes are going up outrageously. We already have a good system of health care, which anyone can have access to,although if you only have information about it via the mainstream media you might think otherwise. We get many people from the UK coming here for healthcare, and pay for it out of pocket, when they can't get what they want or need in Britain in a timely fashion. Your comment about "redneck" Bush was just outrageous. I am in Illinois, one of those "horrid rednecks" in between New York and California. At least I am not a Brit with bad teeth in love with the royalty that doesn't serve any function except to wear expensive clothes and live in big houses, much like the Kardashians.

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  6. Sorry, 'those awful SNP' people are doing a very good job at representing Scotland in the 21st century. I'm also a Scot, and love what the SNP are doing.

    It doesn't mean the social ties with our neighbours are going to disappear! I have cousins in England, and no amount of Westminster scaremongering will convince me that the bonds to my family will suddenly dissolve.

    The fact is the SNP are running an inclusive, progressive government bent on improving Scotland. There's also an interesting article out there demonstrating why the SNP are certainly not a threat to our shared values etc.

    We can still enjoy and celebrate the cultures of these islands after an amicable and timely break-up.

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    Selama bursa transfer musim panas 2013 di buka masa depan mengenai pemain asal Spanyol itu kerap dikaitkan dengan beberapa klub yakni Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United hingga dengan Paris Saint-Germain. hal itu, menjadi santer karena The Blues mendatangan pemanin Willian Borges dari Anzhi Mankachkala yang dipercaya posisi Mata dalam tim akan tergantikan.
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  12. Laga ke 150 Iker caillas bersama La Furia Roja

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  14. I would love to live in Great Britain instead of the US. Both sides of my family came from there and Canada. Ive always found myself following whats going on there more than here. So many people Ive met from there wish they lived here! I cant see it but I guess they have their reasons.

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