Blogs by Leysa Lowery
USA - A Great Nation
8/14/2008 12:39:24 PM
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I believe the United States of America is the greatest country on the planet. I have no shame for loving my country and feeling pride in her accomplishments, in her generosity, in her continued growth and improvement.
Is she perfect? Of course not. And, as a patriot is it my duty to continue to work to make her better. To vote, to speak, to serve.
Is my belief, my stance, full of arrogance?
No, of course not. I would hope the French feel as strongly for their country, that the citizens of Japan believe theirs to be the greatest, that my Canadian brothers believe they have it right. I think it's important for a country to be filled by citizens who feel extreme pride in their nation.
So who is right? Well, we all are. I know that sounds simplistic, but we are absolutely all correct. For me, for the person I am, the USA is the greatest nation. For my friends in Hanamaki, a sister city to the city in which I live, Japan is the greatest nation for them. It's part of who they are as a people. The same should hold true across the world.
The arrogance is in the people who go to a country for all the benefits it offers, who take advantage of its gifts, its progress, its friendship, and then declare it a terrible place. A place unworthy of praise. Such elitism is true arrogance. If the country they left is so damned wonderful, why are they here? Oh, right, that would be for all that we have to offer while living in a free society that allows even jerks to benefit.
My brother-in-law, a man with a heart the size of Dallas, traces his ancestry to Mexico. He and his siblings are fluent in Spanish and English. They carry the features that are common to a majority of people who inhabit Mexico to this day. Yet they are American. They celebrate their heritage from Mexico, but they defend the United States intensely.
You could argue that they are "Americanized" -- as if that were a bad thing. Of course they are. Their forefathers came to this country for opportunities not found in their homeland. Obviously they had success in their search for they remained here and became citizens.
My grandfather, an educated man from Germany, joined his family in an exodus from their birthplace for America in hopes of leaving behind a troubled country. My grandfather, Gottlieb, embraced his new country. He graduated from college here, speaking fluent English because he felt it important to speak the language of his country of choice.
He moved from Indiana where his family had established farms, to Oklahoma, an area of new opportunity. He purchased land, became a farmer himself. He also worked at a bank, eventually becoming that bank's president. Later he was elected mayor of his small Oklahoma town. He paved Main Street during his tenure, raised a family, contributed to charities and to his church. He wrote. Profusely. And much of his writings centered on his faith and on his love of his country of choice. He was a great American who never forgot the opportunities this country provided to him.
Yes, he was Americanized. By choice.
My son's Godparents are Lebanese. They are wonderful, loving, kind people. Their children are beautiful with luxurious dark hair and huge brown eyes. Their skin is a gorgeous shade of sparkling brown. They have shared their home, their wonderful family recipes and traditions, their generous natures.
Yes, they are Americanized. Also by choice. They know the troubled land they left behind. They love the USA and the safety they feel here. The acceptance they receive. The friends they have made.
I live in a city that is filled with descendents from much of Europe and what was once the USSR. Many still carry the accents of the lands they left. You will see them at local city events, speaking out in political rallies. Their names proudly tell the world of their heritage, but their actions speak strongly of how they have become Americanized. By choice.
None feel shame. None should. This is a great country.
Frankly, if you live here and you do feel shame, I would simply invite you to leave. Today. Does that mean you have to agree with all the choices of our government. Hell no. Our forefathers would be appalled if we did. We have the right to disagree with the government and the government's choices. But we do not have the right to fail to love this country and her people.
And for those who are concerned about the government, I return to how I opened this blog – vote, speak out, work to make change happen. Sitting on your haunches and simply complaining does nothing but make you feel even worse about your situation. Just remember in the process of affecting change, allowing the citizens to rule is what this county is supposed to be about. It's why it's a great place.
Yeah, I've just got to say it, America is the greatest nation. It's why I'm still here!
More Blogs by Leysa Lowery
How Do I Pen the Living of a Dream - Monday, March 30, 2009
USA - A Great Nation - Thursday, August 14, 2008