This I Believe

Shankar - Acworth, Georgia
Entered on January 14, 2008

Today a friend of mine told me “You are not an American, so you can’t discuss our politics”. It hurt me greatly to hear these 11 words after 10 years in this country. But what is it to be an American?

To wake up in the morning, aspiring that today would be better than yesterday.

To try ones best to work towards a better tomorrow and if it yet does not get better,

forget the old and start afresh, all over again. This I believe is an American.

To disappoint and then surprise a friend with a surprise birthday party.

To be there when needed after not being there for a long time. This I believe is an American.

To ridicule and tease one whom we love and respect.

To roast and recollect fond memories of a parting co-worker. This I believe is an American.

To forget everything that went wrong. To kiss and hug when parting after a divorce.

To remember each other for the following Christmas. This I believe is an American.

To carry a credit card balance and yet contribute to Kiva.org or United way.

To always have enough to contribute to a baby shower or wedding shower. This I believe is an American.

To not complete school and still want to be successful. To think out of the box and do the unthinkable. To be able to become a millionaire at 23 and want to retire at 33. This I believe is an American.

To be not born in this land. To adopt and embrace this land.

To make a land far from home, a new home. This I believe is also, an American.