What could we really accomplish?
July 4 is almost upon us, America is poised to celebrate her 227th birthday. This year, as has happened many times in the past, we will celebrate our independence while the men and women of our Armed Services are "in harms way" on foreign soil. I think that it's important for us, as American citizens, to take a good look at ourselves, our society, and what it means to be an American.
This conflict has created an enormous swell of patriotic symbolism. I drive around and see American flags flown proudly on vehicles, yellow ribbons in yards, signs and banners proudly declaring support for our troops overseas. Sights like this warm the heart, they demonstrate the level to which America can come together to face a crisis. However, it also makes me wonder, what could we accomplish on other fronts, if we were to come together as a society like we do when faced with external threats?
We face serious problems in our society: a flagging economy, collapsing educational system, poverty, crime, and drug abuse, not to mention the myriad deadly diseases that plague our population. This is not a call for the government to "throw money" at social problems. Quite the opposite. It's a call for you, for me, and for all of us that call ourselves Americans to stand up and realize what that means.
Two hundred and twenty seven years ago a small band of men and women joined together to take a stand. A stand for freedom and equality. A stand that put them at war with the world's largest Empire, a hopeless fight that somehow they managed to win. That is the heart and soul of America. When faced with crisis, America comes together, we utilize our diversities, our spirit of independence, and we overcome, regardless of the odds.
Think of how much we could accomplish if we could come together as a society and strive to correct the ills we currently face. Every day, in every community in America, we have small bands of ordinary people that are striving to accomplish extraordinary things. Volunteers for a variety of causes, all aimed at improving the lives of our fellow citizens. Imagine what we could accomplish if more of us would dedicate the level of time and energy to those causes that we've dedicated to this current war.
Remember what America is all about: citizen government. Before we lay the blame for our social problems at the feet of our elected leaders, remember this, they are elected, elected by you and I! In the beginning a small group decided to make a real change, and did exactly that. It's time again to remember what has made this nation great and strong. It's not about our President, our Congress, or even our weapons and technology. It's about involvement, the spirit of independence, and the unity that we develop as Americans when we decide to come together. As we celebrate America's birthday, take the time to think about what that means, where we've been, and where "we the people" want this nation to be for ourselves, our children, and their children.