Wednesday, January 7, 2009

America’s Image and What is Coming

With the end of 2008, and the beginning of a new administration in Washington, we have been flooded with stories about what we can expect in the coming months. Newsweek has an article about how America can improve its image abroad. I came across this on Digg and read through many of the comments. Scores of them were filled with hate and lies. As bad were some of America’s self righteous defenders. It seems America; love it or leave it, still has some adherents in the present day. I would prefer to believe that such unkind statements are from those who wish to impugn our national character and not Americans that live and believe as I do. Undoubtedly in a nation of 300 million, there are many different opinions of who we are and what makes us great; even if we are “great”. I believe we are a great nation. Not because of our economic wealth, our scientific expertise, our military might, our natural wonders, or even our amazing history.

Diversity makes us great. There are no typical Americans; we come from every corner of the globe. Americans come in every description, from Bill Gates to Mia Angelou, there are no typical Americans.

Optimism makes us great. We are members of every faith, religion, and belief system, but all of us are certain tomorrow will be better than today. We as a nation toil, invent, save, and build, so that our children will have it better than we did.

But the truest measure of our greatness is American generosity. Not the largesse of our Federal Government, but the everyday generosity of Americans. When people give to suffering children in distant continents, when neighbors take in neighbors because they’re the only house on the block with a generator and heat, when builders whom have no work at home, pack up their tools on their trucks, and drive for days to get to the Gulf Coast to build houses for families that are still living in trailers since the flood, that shows our greatness.

These strengths that our nation has in abundance can serve us well in troubled times like these. As long as we remember we have them, they are a part of each and every one of us, and together we are one. E Pluribus Unum