Returning to “The Land of the Free – The Home of the Brave”
I find it distressing, embarrassing, and painful to be an American right now. I am distressed with how insane and self-centered we are as a society. I am embarrassed with many of the people we have in Washington D.C. “representing” us. And, I find it painful that a country built on the lofty ideals with which we started has, in its growing pains, fallen into the patterns of an addict (see When Society Becomes an Addict) and can act out with so little awareness.
There have been times in the past when I was abroad when I was embarrassed with the behavior of some American tourists (The Ugly Americans) and there have been times when I knew we were in trouble, like the McCarthy era, and in my 83 years of living in and loving this country, I have never felt such pain and embarrassment with our government or so proud of the common people who are this diverse group of “Americans.” I am proud and embarrassed at times, when our immigrants seem to “get” the meanings of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Gettysburg Address better than the separatist, white, sexist and racist “Americans” do.
It is time for us to re-think, re-member, re-live and re-vitalize what we are and need to be about as a nation. Our path to maturity as a nation has not been a straight one. And, we seem to be on a long, rocky detour right now. So what can we learn from this particular detour?
In the next several weeks I am going to explore 1) how we have come to function as an active addict, 2) what we need to do to recover our sanity, 3) what some of the basic principles are that will lead us back to sanity and 4) reiterate our basic founding beliefs as a nation.
We do not necessarily need to lead the world in wealth and power in the form of control and domination. We still have something to offer the world in the principles that guide our way of life.