It just dawned on me today that when I changed my theme a couple months ago, I did not put my flag and visitor counter back into my sidebar. Unfortunately, that means I didn’t get a count of all the fine folks who have stopped by to spend time with me lately. So I’ve remedied that situation, but all this thinking about flags and countries reminded me of something I learned this week in connection with the flag counter on my “Healing From Jesus” blog. That counter shows visitors from 95 different countries, and I got to thinking that I don’t really know exactly how many countries there are in the world.
Now, that fact made me feel a little bad, because most of my life as a teacher, I taught, not only English and writing, but also various history subjects, including world history. And, naturally, I felt a little guilty not knowing the exact count of countries. But I consoled myself with the fact that, after all, I have not actively taught those subjects for at least 15 years, and we do have changes in countries from time to time. Periodically, we get a new one or two when another group of people declares their independence, and then we also occasionally see the development of federations of two tiny countries into one governmental entity.
So, now that I don’t feel so bad, I thought perhaps there are several other people out there who may not know exactly how many countries we have either. And perhaps you would like to know, so I found out. We have 242 countries in our world. And actually, nine of those are some form of federation formed by two smaller countries coming into agreement to unite under one government.
Now, the nicest thing about this knowledge is the fact that, through my blogs, I have come to know and appreciate so many, many, many people from quite a few of those countries. And now that I realize there are 242 countries in all, and that I have so many more countries to acquaint myself with in the future – and so many more wonderful people to get to know – I find that I feel quite excited and expectant.