Our Once Great Country.
How many times have we thought this? Heard this? Or said it ourselves? Out of frustration at the drug problems, the equality issues, the political ridiculousness. Have we muttered it under our breaths because of the arguments over having guns or having gun controls. Do we roll our eyes at the incomprehensible debt. Are we dropping our heads in acceptance and shame at the decline of our country?
Our Once Great Country is still our country. It’s greatness is not defined by it’s borders. Or it’s politicians. It’s military might. It’s medical plan.
Our Once Great Country is defined by you. And me. Our children. Their children. My parents. Their parents.
Our Once Great Country is only as great as those of us who stand on it’s soil and represent it’s Greatness.
And among our greatness is our greatest weakness. Our greatest threat. Our weakest link.
And again, it isn’t the borders, or the politicians, or the laws. It is the people. It is you. It is me. It is our children. It is our parents. And their parents.
The same thing that defines our greatness, also defines our darkness and our self loathing.
Our Once Great Country is only as good as you and I. And at it’s worst, it is represented, by you and I.
If you are part of this country and working hard every day to provide guidance and parenting to your children you are building on our greatness.
If you are bringing forth children in to this country and not doing everything in your power to feed, clothe and parent your children you are a threat to our greatness.
If you get up every day and go to work or work hard at finding work, or have spent years of your life working hard until you could no longer work, you are building on our greatness.
If you are able and not willing to work. If you work at illegal trades that are destroying our people. If you refuse to work and instead live off of what you steal from your parents, grandparents or strangers whom you feel an entitlement to steal from, you are a threat to our greatness.
If you volunteer to help the children, the teenagers, the grieving, the addicted, the lost and those willing to give up-you are a solid part of our great foundation.
If you sneer at another’s good deeds and belittle the kindness that strangers in this country show to one another and those across the world-you are a crumbling foundation block. It’s as if you are self disintegrating, picking up the stones of what you once were, and throwing them at the very foundation of what supports you.
Our Country’s Greatness is an individual choice. A choice that being American we all have. That alone is part of our greatness. You have the right to be as great as our country. Or you have the right to drain us, strain us, and attempt to ruin us.
I believe for every one person choosing to ruin us there are thousands who are willing to work harder to compensate for your bad choices. You’re not caring. Your willingness to destroy something good and decent.
For every thing you do that robs this country of it’s resources: people, energy, funds, character. You, and you alone, are a threat to this country.
Maybe our problems won’t be solved by my generation. Or yours. But they will be solved. I have the undying faith in our people. I have faith in my children. And their children. In your children. In the lessons that we are instilling in our children. I believe in the ethics, loyalty, dedication and pledge to our country that we instill in our children. I believe in our rights.
The world may see us as selfish, entitled and spoiled. But what the world doesn’t see when they look at what the television shows them …is us. You and me. The world doesn’t see the daily sacrifice the individuals of this country make. The world doesn’t see the young couple who lives in a cheaply rented apartment so they don’t incur their own debt. So they can pay for the things their child needs while they do without. They don’t see the elderly couple who lives on supermarket bargains so they can save their money and buy their medications or pay their electric bill without asking for help. The world doesn’t see the small communities who come together to raise funds for a sick neighbor, an injured volunteer fireman, or clothing drive for people who lost everything in a storm. The world doesn’t see the nickels and dimes and dollars that come out of our very small pockets to help pay for charity around the world, and in our own little worlds. The world doesn’t see us, you and I.
Our Country is Great. It was built on the lives of people willing to do things for others. Willing to give of themselves until they had nothing else to give. And when they had nothing left to give, there was always someone else willing to give back.
Our Country is Great because despite what the news stories report around the world, I don’t mind my neighbor being Jewish and my friend being Buddhist. I, and most everyone I know, don’t care who you love, how you pray, whether you eat a bacon diet or a cucumber diet. There is acceptance. There is tolerance. Along with these things there is misunderstanding. There is hate, bigotry and phobias. There are those who do not understand difference. And there are those who accept that there are those who may not change.
And Our Country Is Great because for every intolerance, there is tolerance. There are lessons being taught. And more importantly, there are lessons being learned.
For every hate, there is a greater influence of love.
For every dime stolen, there are two dimes donated.
There are many components of our country that are not great. But these do define us, they continually challenge us. It’s only when you and I stop believing in, and stop actively participating in, the great things that are part of our country…it is only then, that this country will lost it’s Greatness.
Until then I believe in you. And I believe in me.
And I believe Our Country’s Greatness lies in it’s dependency on us.