What is an American? Actually, a better question is “who is an American? With both of these questions we would get a ton of great answers. In fact just ask one of those questions and we would get a ton of brilliant answers. Why would we get so many varied answers? Because Americans come from all over the world as well as locally via our Native American heritages. Not only do we come with different color skin, but with different traditions, different religious backgrounds and faiths, and different educational backgrounds. In fact, a medical doctor who I was able to connect with this year said a very interesting thing. And by the way, he is now an American citizen but lived as a DK (Diplomat Kid) all his life and was from a Asian country. So he has been “around the block” as a TCK (Third Culture Kid) like me. He said, “that Americans are a lot more welcoming to different ethnic groups then anywhere in the world.” In fact, just look at all the different types of restaurants in a 5 mile radius where we live here in the U.S. We pretty much have at least 10-15 ethnic foods we can choose from.
But what ties us Americans together? What brings us as one people? Where, here we can also get a lot of answers. But, if we boil it all down or as I say “our foundation” then it has to, must come from our U.S. Constitution, United States Declaration of Independence, and our Bill of Rights! Yes, all three are our human bible that sets the direction and tone of this great country of ours! It is the life blood of our people, the American people.
One of the phrases I love is in the U.S. Declaration of Independence “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Note that this foundation our forefathers printed did not promise happiness but it promised the opportunity to work toward your happiness! Even though my skin is white, my parents are from Washington State (Norwegian heritage) and PA (French and German heritage), I felt like an immigrant. Why? I was born and raised in Indonesia for 19 years before coming back to the U.S. as an adult. Even though I didn’t get any grants or free stuff from the government I was able to live out the phrase “…pursuit of happiness.” The only time I asked for help from the government was six months for WIC when my son was just a baby. But besides that, through sweat, tears, U.S. Army time, and hard work I have been blessed with amazing opportunities that I grabbed. There is no country in the world that allows you the freedom to learn and grow and grab the stars. I am paraphrasing this, but C.S. Lewis said it pretty well when he said “Aim for Heaven and you get earth, but if you aim for earth you get hell!” Well, I aimed for Heaven and received America! Was it easy. Nope! But is anything easy worth working towards? Go to most other countries and you have to have certain blood DNA to be in the opportunity class or have money to “buy your way up the ladder” of success. However, in American you are given the opportunity to succeed and the only thing holding each of us back is ourselves.
As this web page says, I am very very very very very proud to be an American! I am thankful so very much to the founders of our amazing country. No, we are not perfect for sure. But then find me a perfect person or country! At least the buck stops with me and what I want myself to be now and in the future.
I want to give a huge “shout out” to those who sacrificed their lives wearing the American uniform in wars for us Americans. “Thank you so very much for shedding your blood and giving up your life to allow me and millions of other Americans to live this precious life we have in America!” Words cannot even come close to thanking you. But I also will thank you with my deeds by doing everything I can to keep the American dreams alive so that all have the opportunity to pursuit their happiness here in this great nation of ours!
Chow for now. Diving Doug