by Joe Betts
My wife Ruth and I returned to the USA last year at this time after 50 years working in Japan. We were sponsored by the Seventh and Mueller congregation in Paragould, Ark.
During this past year we have tried, in vain in some areas, to make ourselves feel at home. The church people have been quite helpful, some of them are returning missionaries, but our thinking is still somewhat “over there.”
* Possibly one of the greatest differences I have seen is the “me” attitude. I have had to sign my name on so many papers because the other party is trying to protect himself from being sued.
* So many divorces. So many living together without marriage. The word “bastard” describes such a large percent of the babies now being born.
* Foul language in the media. Of course it has always been in the entertainment world but even there its use is so out of proportion to what it was.
* Abundance of car names? What is SUV? RV? Foreign cars. Cars loaded with so many gadgets. GPS?
* What is this about having to have a piece of paper with me to prove my financial ability in case a policeman stops me? Where do I get it? How do I get it?
* Life insurance is not enough; there is health insurance; one to cover the cost of medicine.
* Telephone calls from people I never knew, trying to sell something I never heard of, to take care of a problem I never knew I had.
* Endless charity mail: March of Dimes, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Feed the Children, Rescue the Animals, Red Cross, etc. I would like to help them all but …
Somewhere back in there I hear someone say, “Welcome home, Joe.”
Positive, on the other hand: Nearby hospital with latest equipment; language I understand (well, there are some words I’m more familiar with in Japanese than English); immediate family nearby; the Star-Spangled Banner.
Yes, it’s good to be back here.
Missionary Joe Betts shares what strikes him in the U.S.