Monday, July 4, 2011

Land of Free

About nine years ago, some of my extended family came to visit from Venezuela, from where I am originally. On one particular night after sight-seeing, we stopped at a Wendy's for a fast dinner. My cousins were eating their meals when the oldest one said something about his fries being cold. I told him to take the fries up to the counter and get a new batch. He gave me a weird look.

"Will they give me new ones?" he asked in Spanish. I explained to him that they would indeed take the cold fries and replace them with a new, hot order even though he had already taken a couple bites. He was skeptical but went to the counter anyway. He came back with a hot order of french fries and a look of amazement.

Later on, a younger cousin finished his soda but said he wanted another. I told him to go up and get a refill. He laughed my "joke" off. I explained to him that refills were free. My family being characterized as jokers, he thought I was pulling a prank on him. I practically had to pull him out of his chair to go get a refill. When he came back with a full cup, his eyes were big as he whispered to his brother in Spanish, "Look!"

His brother replied, "They gave it to you? For free??" This younger cousin commenced to show his full cup off to his parents (my aunt and uncle).

Maybe you are not aware that in other countries, if you get a bad meal and you don't like it, you are out of luck. You get terrible service? Who cares; you're the one inconveniencing the waiter. You want another drink? Pull out your wallet. We take so much for granted here, and we're unaware of just how much we get for free.

On top of freedom to worship the God of our choosing, the freedom to publicly express opinions, and the freedom to venture into our own economic future, we get free stuff!

We Americans have a blessed life indeed.

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