As we are all aware, this is an important weekend for the people of our nation. Rather than share the details of where I was when I first heard the news, what I was thinking, how I have changed, I like to share with you an excerpt from an essay my son, Kevin, wrote this past July 4th (which happens to be his favorite holiday). I’m a proud mom!
In Defense of American Idealism
My country is a place that I am proud to call my home, yet unfortunately, a place that is largely misunderstood due to the actions of an outspoken minority.
In 1776 hardworking Patriots came together to verbalize a dream of a new way of living. Freedom and civil liberties were to be the backbone of a new country. America would be a blank canvas where men and women from all corners of the world could come and paint their own interpretation of a life worth living. Democracy would reign and all individuals would have a voice regardless of your age, gender, race, or financial status. These unalienable rights formed our American Dream. The rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Today the view of America is a lot different from the outside looking in…
In my travels I have had sobering conversations with citizens of other countries on their view of Americans. Mass media has assisted in creating a new image of my countryman that is based on the minority. An image of materialistic, ignorant, and unscrupulous Americans has tainted the masses by a guilty by association mindset.
Unfortunately, it is unrealistic to think that one person can re-educate the world about true Americans. It also may be too late to change the minds of those who cast stones against our way of living. However, for the sake of our future generations, we must urge our fellow brothers and sisters to live each day cognizant of the ideals our country was founded on. We must not abuse the luxuries that are available to us so that the sacrifices by our forefathers were not made in vain.
Those individuals that came before us were the voice of a nation, but won’t all messages fall on deaf ears if there are no actions to back them up? In defense of that idealism that shaped our fine country I urge everyone to make a personal declaration to themselves and their neighbors, so that we are held accountable for a positive American Image.
My fellow Americans, I pledge to not live in excess. I will live within my means. I will donate my time and resources to those less fortunate so that they will have the opportunity to fully experience the same liberties.
I will support continuous education. I will be knowledgeable of the world around me and the cultural differences between its people. Although I may live a certain lifestyle I will not allow ignorance to be a reason to pass judgment on those who make other choices.
I will stand strong with my code of ethics and moral fiber.
Most importantly I will continue to dream. I will not allow obstacles, mental or physical, to block my path in accomplishing goals. I will not let these dreams die, for when the dreams are gone the dreamer is next to follow.
If these actions are ever questioned I will exude pride in responding with “because it’s the American Way.”