I was going to write about the truly embarrassing state of American thinking today. Not to dwell on the whole political mess and all the shouting and screaming and finger-pointing, but I’m not waving Old Glory right now. Instead I’m cradling it in my arms and hoping that I don’t have to use our symbol of freedom and to wipe away my tears.
Yesterday I met a woman from Manchester, England who is here in New York City, my hometown. She is a tourist and this is her first time in New York. I saw her standing on a busy street corner with that look of “which way do I go?” I stopped and asked her if I could help and she told me that she was looking for a store that is world-famous for its size and variety of items.
I smiled and pointed out to her that the store was just two blocks away and she could see it from where we were standing. I said, “There’s the store right there. In fact you can see it’s name right up on the top of it.”
The Englishwoman smiled at me and said, “Thank you very much. You Americans are so friendly and helpful.”
She went off to the store and I stood there smiling and hoping that she found something special to bring home with her back to England.
I also, for that brief moment, was proud, and not embarrassed, to be an American.