“All great change in America begins at the dinner table.”
I am ashamed of our government. I am ashamed of our political process. I am ashamed of the stories our media uses to present us to the world as a nation. I am ashamed of how we seem to behave as a people. I am ashamed of our business leaders and of our church leaders.
I am ashamed of all of that.
I am not ashamed to be an American (United Statesian just doesn’t roll off the tongue).
We are not who the media shows you. We are not who gets elected. We barely elect them in the first place. We are people who get up, go to work in whatever fashion, and just try to make it through each day without catastrophe. We have heroes and we have villains. Mostly we have small heroes. You just never hear about them.
This was all today’s news.
We have people fighting every day for what’s right, and we have people fighting every day for what they THINK is right. I’m forty-one, and I’m pretty sure I know that The Golden Rule is right. But regardless of what everyone else thinks, we do have passionate people. We are a nation full of morons, geniuses, and genius-morons. We are also full of average people who do anything they can when they can to make things better. Most people in this country are selfish in that they take care of their own before they try to take care of others. Some people are just plain selfish.
We are a country full of the best and the worst that humanity has to offer, and sometimes one or the other wins out. It never seems to be a happy medium, but people still strive for that happiness. A place where things are good, tensions are low, and waking up in the morning doesn’t cause bowel cramps due to stress.
We are stressed, but we’ve been through far worse. We need to remember. There is some shit going down right now, but our nation has been through worse. We can do it. We might be spoiled and surly at times, but when push comes to shove we CAN support each other.
And we do. We just rarely hear about it.
The media would have you believe that the United States is a failure as a society. Everything is going to hell. I disagree. Oh yeah, there’s a bunch of stuff that IS going to hell, but every day I see people (my immediate neighbors are not counted here) living by The Golden Rule. I see people offering help with groceries. I see people stepping back and letting people go through doors ahead of them. I see people smiling at each other for no good reason, and I see people speaking to each other in stressful situations to let each other know they’ve been there, or just that they’re being thought of. I am not counting the Internet there. I am an eavesdropper, and I see this stuff all of the time. I’m proud of all of these people who do small things every day to make things easier for those around them.
I am also proud of the fact that at least right now, at this time in 2012, I can call my government representatives a bunch of douchebag jackwagons and tell them they should all go suck ostrich eggs and have no fear of someone banging down my door in two hours.
I am proud to be called an American. I am proud, even with the crap, of the country I live in.
I know that as a nation of immigrants and their descendants, which we all are if we’re not 100% native, we’re still young. We’re not even teenagers on the world stage. And we can do better. We will do better. We might not see it, and it will sadden the hell out of us who live in this time to take three steps forward and a step back, but as a nation we will do better. If there’s one thing I have faith in- it’s the fact that shame and anger can spur people to great things.
Those who come after us are going to do great things. Because they’re watching closely right now.
Talk to your kids. Talk to the young’uns around you. Show them The Golden Rule as often as you can. None of us is perfect.
I am an optimist. I am a grump, but I am an optimist, and I see to shining sea. We are better than this.
Happy Independence Day- and remember- without it we might not have the ability to behave as well or as poorly as we choose.
Please choose wisely.