How do we describe our country, the place that defines us, that holds all the things we hold dear? How can we express the myriad qualities that make up the United States of America.
I believe I know. Our country is a tossed salad.
I know many Americans far more clever than I, have praised our country as a melting pot, but I beg to differ. A melting pot creates a homogenous blend of smooth consistency. It makes a medium toned, medium tasting, bland peanut butter of society, which does not represent our nation accurately.
A tossed salad, although not a dignified thing in itself, best represents the complex mix we call home. It is a humble tumble of separate parts that form a dish far greater than each individual ingredient.
Would you want to sit down to a bowl of radishes? What enjoyment is there is a single cucumber? The genius of our country is that we live side by side; yet each of us can retain the tangy spice or bumpy texture we were imported with.
Admittedly, some of us don’t like the odor of onions or the unnatural shape of julienne carrots, but we are free to choose with which vegetables we wish to mingle.
There are people which I shall call tomatoes, which leave a slimy trail on the rest of us. They spill the contents of their beliefs over their poor neighbors, expecting them to be grateful for the dampening sludge.
Yet, am I suggesting we ban tomatoes from our salad society? Of course not. I suggest that they just consider being a cherry tomato, self contained, yet bright and firm, and an inspiration for the less visually appealing among us; an ingredient that can lead by example rather than infringing on another vegetable’s personal space or personal style.
So, I believe America is a tossed salad and my impassioned plea to all citizens is, don’t be a leaky tomato. Enjoy the sights, sounds and scents of our blessed variety. Be a part of the delicate mix and savor the flavor of being an American.
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