Opinion Personal

You Know Your Country is Rich When People Buy Rocks

At the start of a new year, I revive the habit of listing my blessings each night before bed. This year is no different. Appearing at the top of my list remains ‘being born in America.’

This is the greatest country in the world. Everyone wants to live here. The checks and balances of our two-party system, our freedom of the press, and the peaceful transfer of power are the corner stones of why the United States is so successful.


Driving west on I-30 from Little Rock to Benton I am struck by how many businesses are selling pallets of rocks. At first, I thought, “Oh good. Now I know where to buy nice landscaping rocks.” But down the road, when I came upon another large, rock-selling company, I was struck by the thought, “How prosperous must our country be, when you can sell rocks for a living!” My parents would have never bought a rock.

This brought up a thought that has been haunting me since January 6, 2021.  What if the mob at our nation’s Capitol had succeeded in capturing or killing Pence or Pelosi? I bet people would not be buying rocks then. We would have a lot more to worry about than landscaping our yards.


Having lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis, with a nuclear warhead pointing right at Florida, I know this American way of life is tenuous. A nuclear bomb could change our lives forever. Even so, I was unprepared for what happened last month, when radicalized, home-grown terrorists suited up in combat gear and breached the walls of our Capitol.

Lulled into complacency, I never gave a thought about war on American soil.  Those days are gone, for now I know how close we came to massive civil unrest. What would have happened if the mob had been successful? Would a civil war have ensued? Would we be forced into martial law? Would the good life we seem to take for granted cease to exist?


We the people need each other for the balance of power. Turn down the volume, change the channel. It is not them against us or us against them. Let’s all recognize the importance of a two-party system and thus agree to disagree.

Now, when I list my blessings, I’ve added all the brave men and women who kept our Capitol safe, who preserved our way of life, and upheld our democracy.

When Spring comes and gardening resumes, I will remember how lucky I am to be able to buy rocks.