How To Be A Good American

Has anyone noticed that mainstream USA seems to encourage bigger, flashier, louder, and power hungry behavior? Has anyone noticed that convenience seems to outweigh quality and the bottom line seems to outweigh the basic rights of our workers? What’s going on here? We want to be millionaires…the easy way. We want to be more savvy, more beautiful, more foxy than the next guy. Really, are we just a bunch of fools pitted against each other in a game we can’t win?

It kind of reminds me of the story Pinocchio where all of the kids go to pleasure island, where they can do whatever they want, break whatever they want, drink, smoke, swear and carry on, then one by one they turn into donkeys (arses, a rather blunt analogy) and sold into slavery. In doing what we want, when we want, without regard for it’s affect on others, has it shackled our own hands and helped to enslave us?

Our forefathers in America had a vision for something much better than this. They dreamed of Freedom. But freedom cannot come without a price. That price was integrity, loyalty, hope, sacrifice and love.
The Declaration of Independence reads:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed…”
Many people have come to believe that patriotism means that you vote for a particular party, or that you have an American flag outside your house, or say the pledge of allegience with enthusiasm. While it is admirable to stand for something, these things are but a shadow of what it means to be an American. Frankly, I would like to see some Native American elders running the United States for a while. Perhaps then we could see some progress for preserving the land, the animals and building communities. So lately, with all of the political corruption, unemployment and desperation that I have seen, often as the byproduct of the spirit of greed and self interest, I have asked myself many times how can I help this country? Here are my ideas and I would also like to hear yours.

1. A good American sticks together. Helps each other out within and without the communities.
2. Good Americans know that what you do to others, ultimately you do to yourself. Good Americans are a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.
3. Good Americans avoid borrowing money unless they absolutely have to. They forget about impressing people. They let the guy next door have a chance to shine for a change.
4. Good Americans know that evil prevails when good men do nothing. Thomas Jefferson himself said it best “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent”.
5. Good Americans focus on providing value. They forget about becoming an instant millionaire. They focus on what they can offer to the team.
6. A good American seeks to act with integrity in local as well as global matters.

Martin Luthor King once said “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity”. I hope that the people who really care about this country can somehow begin to band together-that the words of those who died to deliver a message of hope and integrity will not be lost.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to help the USA help itself?

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2 Responses to How To Be A Good American

  1. Mike says:

    I cannot live and work in America but I can now learn to live the life of a good American living abroad and for that insight that you have bestowed on me with this article I will be forever grateful.

    [Reply]

  2. Henry Rogers says:

    I am 15 years old and am in the middle of English class as of right now (8:17 10/16/14) and just finished a quiz. I googled “how to be a good american” purely for the results . What I found was so painstaking true it almost brought a tear to my eye. I just wanted to say thank you for putting the time and effort for this, passage, and that it really hit home for me.

    [Reply]

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