Nearly 45 years ago, I was born in the United States of America to two people who were also born in the United States of America. The only thing I know for sure about that is I didn't have a damn thing to do with it.
I was the fifth of five children born to those Americans. Since my next youngest sibling was seven years older than me, and my oldest sibling was 12 years older, it's pretty safe to say that it wasn't really in the plans for me to be born in America or anywhere else. Yet here I am.
I was born here and really don't spend much time thinking about my ancestors and how and why they came here and what they had to endure along the way.
- Did they follow the legal channels?
- What were those channels?
- Were they good people?
- Were they people of whom I should be proud...ashamed?
- Did they do good once they got here?
I don't have to know jack about Jack who probably came here from Ireland.
Genealogy isn't really my bag. I'm embarrassingly clueless about my ancestors...maybe because keeping up with my living family of origin takes enough energy and I'm not all that energetic. I'm also privileged in the sense that I've never had to justify my existence to anyone.
I can be blissfully unaware of my past because I've never felt compelled to fight for my future.
I guess I'm tired of the justification and rationalization about who belongs here or there or anywhere and who doesn't. I guess I'm confused by those basking in shameless self-importance simply because they were lucky enough to have been born somewhere.
Today, I will focus on being grateful for having been born here. Maybe I think it's such a great place to have been born thanks to some form or another of the rabid patriotism I've been fed since forever, but I also pay attention and there are so many other places that I'd rather not be...
And I could have been born in any of them.