“Even though we have many problems in this country, some people have and will continue to try to make this country even greater.”

August 29th, 2013 | Economic Opportunity Institute

Yesterday, we shared John Burbank’s bi-weekly column from The Everett Herald about the public good of government. We were delighted to receive a thoughtful and poignant response from Ignacio Castro, Jr. from Edmonds. With Mr. Castro’s permission, we’d like to share his story and insight with you.

Mr. Burbank,

I would like to thank you for the very refreshing article about our country over the last fifty years and more. I will admit that I did not read your article until my second run-through of the newspaper. I always go back through my newspapers at least once after my initial reading. I read your article as I went through a mental review of the last fifty years in my life.

Although not all things in society are as good as they should, we do have many things for which to be thankful. I am probably as guilty as many others when I complain and get frustrated about the “lack” of progress.

I was born in Texas in 1941.  I spent twenty years in the navy. I have been in every single state in this great country. I have lived in the Southwest, the East, the Midwest, the South and for the last thirty four years in the Pacific Northwest.  I received a good education at three great institutions, Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio, Purdue University, and the University of Washington. After my navy career, I worked for two different industries in the Pacific Northwest, one for ten years, the other for seventeen. As a result of this I have a good quality of life in my twilight years.

However, ever since I was an eighteen year old in Texas I have always had this slight dissatisfaction about how “bad’ things were and about the lack of progress to make them better. I am of Mexican descent, a son of parents who were born in Texas but who went through some hard times.  The Southwest and the South were not the best places to grow up and live as a minority.  At a very early age, I decided that I should do better, that I would do better, and that I could help others to be better. I probably have not done as good  a job as I would have liked to do.

Your article gave me a little jolt to the fact that things may not all be as good as they could be, but that there have been others who have made great efforts to move this country forward. It is apropos that you had your article published today, the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. Some good things have happened since then. We have more work to do, but as long as there are people like my eighth grade teacher and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and many, many others, this country will be okay.

Thank you for reminding me that even though we have many problems in this country, some people have and will continue to try to make this country even greater. Will we ever get there?  Probably not. But, I hope that in fifty years, someone will be able to write another article like yours which highlights positive and improvements between 2013 and 2063.  To be around for that day would be awesome.

Thank you for your words.

Ignacio Castro, Jr.

Edmonds, Washington

 

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