After getting my haircut yesterday morning, I literally spent the rest of the day shopping. I went to Ulta, Children's Place, Cafe Rio, WalMart, and Target. Were any of you aware of the fact that Super WalMarts are the size of a small city? Because they are.
I spent the same amount of money on several things at Children's Place that I would have spent on one item of clothing in Israel. And the selection! Oh, the selection! Picking out things like tortilla chips, or a sippy cup, or baby wipes somehow felt a little bit agonizing (and thrilling, let's be honest here). I kept stressing that I was going to get the wrong thing and that it was my only chance to get it. I kept having to remind myself that I can go to WalMart any ol' time I want to now. I almost leaped for joy when I saw Clorox wipes. If I ever would have come across Clorox wipes in Jerusalem, I would have bought out the store's entire inventory, out of both excitement and for fear that I would never see them again.
But my main thought of the day is how much we take for granted simple freedoms...
You can drive around for hours, or even days, and never reach a checkpoint where you have to show your passport, get your fingerprints scanned, or face the possibility of being strip-searched.
Store owners can buy whatever goods they want to sell to the public, regardless of race or nationality.
It's quicker to go from Ogden to Salt Lake (35 miles) than it was for me to go from Jerusalem to Bethlehem (6 miles).
People aren't rationed less water than others because of their race.
If someone were to ask me a question about my church, I can answer!
Speaking of, everyone here can go to whatever church they want, no matter where it is - no one is going to stop them because of where they live.
Anyone who wants to vote, can. We are allowed to have a say in what happens in our communities.
You can walk right into a store without having your bags searched.
People can choose what airport to go to, instead of being denied access to the one in their own country, and being forced to go to another country just to catch a plane.
I don't bring up these things to discuss it from a political standpoint, because I know it's not that simple. But I do think it's possible for us all to recognize and be grateful for all the little things we are blessed with here - which, when you add it all up, equals something much bigger.