Who are we, those of us in the world who define ourselves as Americans? What does that mean? The definition of who and what we are is as varied and different as there are people, but I think it really all boils down to a few things.
Over the years, our country and its people have become so divided, so angry and fearful that is it hard to see where our commalities lie. I believe this has become worse over the past ten years or so. Maybe it has always been this way and I just did not see it. Somehow, I do not think so.
So, the first question: Who are we? In America you will find people from all over the world who have come to seek the good life for themselves and for future generations. We have the First Americans, the Native Americans, who welcomed the pilgrims who came from across the pond and, later, my own ancestors who came from Scotland and Wales. There are many here of European heritage along with folks from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America, the Pacific Islands and so on.
We are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hare Krisha, pagan, Buddhist, and many other religions. I believe all of the major religions of the world are represented in this country. We are atheist and agnostic.
The heritage of all of us is a world heritage, one based on different views and cultures, religious practices and personal beliefs.
BUT we are all Americans. And, as such, I think it is probably safe to say that most of us want our country, the place we call home, to be as safe as possible, as free as possible and as open as possible. We want a land of laws that are followed and we want a better life for our children than we, ourselves had.
We want our broken and battered warriors to be healed and cared for properly when they come home from the battlefield.
We want our government to be open and to follow the laws of the land.
We want our jobs to be secure and our homes not to be foreclosed on.
We want to send our children to college to better educate themselves because, as we all know, the better their education, the better their chances for the future are!
Lately I’ve been seeing so much anger and so much intolerance for the beliefs of others. Were we not a nation built on tolerance for others? Most of the people I personally know do not give a damn what anyone else’s religion is as long as it does not interfere with their own. Most of the people I know don’t care where you came from as long as you are a good person who pays his/her bills and pays taxes.
Most of the people I know fall in the "middle" of the polarizing political parties we have running this country today and find themselves more and more distressed.
The right is pulling so hard from their side. The left is pulling hard from their side. Those who are in the middle are being pulled to tight and will, eventually, snap.
You go worship your God in your way in your church and, if I believe in God, I will worship in my own way. Go vote for the party and the candidates you deem best suited for the job that needs to be done and I will do the same.
We may disagree but I hope that, someday, we can put aside those things we disagree on and get to the honest, hard work of righting the serious wrongs that are occurring in this country today. We are letting the little things distract us from the real issues.
Just my two cents. I’ll step off my soapbox now…