I love the United States of America.
My heart stirs every time I hear the “Star-Spangled Banner” sung at a sporting event.
Maybe it’s silly. But I really do love my country. Some people are pretty surprised at this. I think that is stereotyping. No, I’m not pro-war or pro-military (as their current definitions stand), but I want to say that I support the things they are fighting for.
And if you aren’t patriotic, I might take a moment to at least explain why I am. See, I understand why you would be jaded on the topic of America. In 234 years we have become arguably the most selfish nation on the face of the globe. We consume most of the Earth’s resources, and we do our darndest to ruin as much of it as possible. Our clothes, our oil, our electronics, and much of the food we eat come to us via some of the world’s the poorest populations. We could literally feed every hungry mouth in every country with the money we spend on ice-cream. Our institutions (no matter how we try and deny it) still manage to be sexist and racist. We do not respect the rights of Gays, Lesbians, Bi-Sexuals and Transgendered people as humans. We are an empire.
It’s easy not to be patriotic.
The phrase “The American Dream” is most popularly uttered these days with extreme cynicism. But my currently life is due precisely to that dream. My family hasn’t been in America too long to forget where we came from, and how we got here. America is where we learned to read. Where we got work. Where we owned property for the first time. Where we got our first cars and met the loves of our lives.
My ancestors came to these shores because of a promise. It’s a promise that has been abused since it was penned-down onto paper for the first time, even by those that wrote it. It’s the promise that all mankind was created equal, and endowed with certain unalienable rights, like life, liberty and the right to pursue happiness. This promise is different from those in other places. Because the founding documents of many republics around the world share a similar sentiment.
The thing that makes America different, is that we have seen it as our duty as citizens to make sure that promise is fulfilled. While the people of foreign nations try to blame their governments and their authorities, Americans are forced to acknowledge that when our country commits an injustice, it is our own fault.
But with that responsibility comes a great hope. Because while we share the blame, we also have the power to right those wrongs. Maybe I am naive, but I believe that within us as a people we have the ability to make this world a far better place then the mess we inherited from our parents.
So that’s why I love America. Because I still believe in her.
Happy Independence day.