I might not say it much, but I really am proud to be an American. Proud to live in a democratic country where freedom of speech is treasured and issues of ethics are weighed and decided by many–not just one supreme leader.
It’s true, I’m not really a flag waving kind of girl, but I do have moments of civic pride. The night Obama was sworn in had me wishing I could bang a drum and sing that hokey tune they always sing at sporting events about being proud to be an American. When I hear my mother and father in-law talk about how lucky they feel to have immigrated from Guatemala and become citizens in a country so beautiful, safe and full of opportunities my heart swells with appreciation. And early one morning in September of 2001, I cried tears of pride and humility when I heard about the courageous American men and women that helped bring their own plane down, in order to save hundreds–if not thousands–of others.
Beyond the philosophies, declarations and laws that make up this great country, the thing I’m most proud of are the American people. Once I get past the stereotypical personas and bone chilling ignorance of some, I am struck by the fact that this place celebrates believing in yourself and the freedom to pursue The American Dream.
I recently heard a political comedian say this of Americans: “We’re not a thinking people. We just do it.” And though this behavior often gets many of us Americans into quite a bit of trouble at the dinner table, international events and war zones, I do find this American trait endearing.
The fearless passions of the American people can sometimes be a scary thing, but the juxtaposition of brilliance and ignorance is what has made me become a writer, journalist and story teller.
I raise a glass to the American people. Here’s to our differences and the freedom to express ourselves.