Us British love to complain. Normally not to the person who has caused us grievance, but to everyone else. I know I have been guilty of doing this. We are also ruddy good at queuing, drinking tea and never being happy with the weather… Well at least these are some of the stereotypical examples of what us Brits are like.
I never really think about what it means to be British. I’ve heard of people who have had to do the British citizenship tests and I am pretty sure if I was forced to take it I would fail. I don’t even know who St George was (don’t worry I’m going to Google it).
However, when I start to think about things I know about other parts of the world. I very quickly become very thankful for many things. Things that I (we) often take for granted. Here are but a few of them.
I know the NHS isn’t ‘safe’ at the moment, and I know it’s not perfect. Overworked, underpaid staff, long waiting lists etc BUT I am still insanely thankful, that at ANYtime on ANYday I can see a medical professional. Doctors, Nurses, Consultants, Surgeons, Dentists and more can all be found and called upon in an emergency situation.
Like I said the system isn’t perfect and the people who use it aren’t perfect, so it does get abused, which in turn means the system ‘fails’ more. But for all the short comings I am beyond greatful for the surgeons who performed my emergency c section which ensured mine and my sons safety.
To the Consultants who are helping is deal with Darwins Bi-lateral glue ear.
To the Health visitor who supported me both emotionally and with resources whilst going through Zachary’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis
and the Doctor and Pharmacist who have saw and treated my eldest for bacterial tonsillitis.
Yes I know I have paid taxes and my husband pays taxes and eventually our children will pay taxes, but I am glad we don’t have to consider what our ‘insurance’ covers or get left with a huge bill everytime one of us gets ill or requires treatment.
I know some people might disagree. These are just my thoughts, opinions and musings.
The Welfare State
Again and imperfect system for an imperfect nation. Due to many circumstances the Welfare state for many has become a way of life, which in reality is very, very sad. However, that is a topic for a different blog post.
I am greatful that if people find themselves in situations where they well and truly are down on their knees they can look for that lifeline, that bit of hope.
I am greatful that the disabled, the very poor, the mentally ill, the addicts, the victims of abuse and domestic violence etc can get help, they can get support, they can access many different things, money, housing support, mental health teams, free school meals, hostels, refuges etc.
I am glad. I have experienced being a user of one or more of these services, at no fault of my own. I was the child that had free school meals. I no longer feel ashamed I feel greatful.
Freedom (In Many Ways)
I am beyond greatful that I do not live in fear, fear for my life. Because of my Gender, Sexuality, Race or any other meaningless form of labelling used to segregate us.
Yes, we still have issues with gender inequality, homophobic attacks, racial profiling etc. As a rule of thumb I think here in Britain we do not fear for our lives, although we may suffer discrimination, compared to other parts of the world, We have it pretty easy. I am not suggesting everything is A OKAY, we still need to fight against the injustice we see here in Britain, but I am greatful for the progress that has and is continuing to be made.
The right to vote
This is something I am only really beginning to appreciate as an adult. Voting is complicated and I often feel like I’m missing a few puzzle pieces and can’t quite see the whole picture. However, I can not imagine living in a country where you have Zero say over who runs it, how they run it and what they do with the countries resources.
The Education system
Again, much like the NHS and the Welfare state. The education system isn’t perfect, but it’s FREE! We have options, Pre school, Private schools, academies, home school, Montessori school, faith schools. Our children don’t have to walk miles and miles to get there. There are different types of schools and different ways to educate your children. The fact we all have access without question is actually pretty mind blowing.
I love that Britain is pretty diverse in many areas. You can meet people from so many different walks of life. People who have had different experiences, who choose to live there lives differently to you.
I’ve had the chance to learn about different religions, cultures, Eat different foods, listen to other styles of music and experience difference cultures. I truly believe this enriches us as individuals and as a nation.
So there you have it, a few things that make me happy to be British. I hope that everything that is wonderful about this nation continues and my children have the chance to grow up in a pretty safe and beautiful country.
I also love tea, fish and chips by the beach, a Sunday roast,BBQs and a Bank Holiday ☺️
What do you love about being British??? If you are my British what do you love about where you live??
Thanks for reading