We live in a great country.  It is a privilege to be an American.  With the sounds of our national anthem being played often at the Olympics or the American flag on the uniform of one of our athletes congratulating another world competitor for their gold medal performance is exhilarating. 

But, it is also a privilege to have the rights of an American in a land of the free and in the home of the brave.  One of those rights is the right to free speech and freedom of religion.  Even when those personal values are traditional and longstanding, it is still our right to hold them and express them. 

When intimidation is levelled in this country against those who want to say what they believe, then we ought to act and speak up to remind ourselves what we Americans stand for.  No, no one is trying to cram anything down anyone’s throat or mistreat anyone else.  We choose a value, disagree with someone else and as long as we don’t impeded someone else or hamper a fellow American with their rights, then we are good.

But, once in a long while, it is not about arguing.  No words need to be spoken in hostility.  Nor is it necessary to gesture with anger or vulgarity.

A debate doesn’t even need to ensue.  Protest rallies don’t need to be waged.  Hate speeches don’t need to be made.

No one needs to organize city-wide shut down of commerce, government or business.  Professional ads don’t need to be purchases at great expense.  Nor do celebrities need to be prevailed upon to endorse a volatile position.

Instead, people just choose to patronize an establishment.  There are no words that are spoken.  Rather there is just patience in a long line. 

Politeness prevails as people wait their turn.  It is appreciation.  It a personal choice. 

America made their choice.  I was with them.  It was my first time to this business establishment. 

Since I moved from the part of the country that doesn’t have this eatery, I have never frequented it in the past.  Now it was time.  We weren’t protesting.

This was not an activist expression on our part.  We were just out for dinner at a local eatery.  It had been recommended by friends, so we went.

We found ourselves in the middle of an amazing reminder of what makes America great.  It is the people.  The food was good too.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography