Our Nation or Our World

My mom sent out this article to a mass emailing of her friends and family.

Someone, I don’t know who, responded by sending this article back.

I couldn’t help but respond…

When I first read this, my first instinct was “That’s a fairly solid argument.” But after thinking about it for a little bit, I realized I was mistaking eloquence for rationality.

“Staying the course shows strength.” What about taking responsibility for human error and making things better? I feel that our current administration is pushing on a pull door. And instead of choosing to pull as a new course of action, we are been asked to keep pushing. And so we don’t make any progress, unless we break it. I am in favor of pulling the pull door. Even in a time of crisis, enacting change does not mean weakness. It does mean deliberation has been put into policy.

I often think that I am guilty of ambivalence, until I realize that I really do have an opinion, I only forget to give it credit. That in itself may be the the problem of the digital generation, that we aren’t given any credit, so we don’t feel we deserve it. We fulfill the prophecy written by the generations that don’t understand how small we have actually made this world. We’re not slackers; we’re covert.

Does it make us ambivalent that we don’t bother with soapbox speeches because we are too busy philosophizing online with our friends in the pacific rim? My generation doesn’t feel that we are taken seriously. I admit, I do not know what it is like to spend a day working in a factory. I do not know what it is like to spend a day working in a field. I do not know what it is like to spend a day yelling on Wall Street. Does that make me less of an American? I have spent a day building a website of manufacturing and agricultural equipment. I have spent a day trading stock online and via phone. What other way is there to experience life in a country where one has to fear getting shot in the head by one’s own neighbor while on a trip to the grocery. That is the great legacy of the Old West.

How are we better than the “mediocre” nations? This nation tamed by force a frontier that was already inhabited. We stood down Nazis after years of letting other nations suffer. This antiquated manifest destiny mentality baffles me. People scream for their rights, and then use them to infringe on others.

I don’t turn away from who we were as Americans. I embrace it, particularly as a Revolutionary War reenactor. But I realize that the nation is an evolving place, and I turn away from those who are not willing to change in a changing environment. I think one of the greatest challenges we face as Americans is to redefine our greatness. If we let go of our close-mindedness and ethnocentricity, we can truly create an example for the world. We have forgotten what it is to be a role model. A true hero acts for the advancement of others.

I believe that a country that shuts out the rest of the world has no future. A global bully only last so long on the playground. We are not ambivalent; we are global. We’re waiting for our turn, and I don’t think we’ll fail. But we will make changes. And that is what scares you.

It’s fine that the WWII generation is called American’s “greatest generation” for I know I am part of the World’s “first generation.”

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