I believe in the American Spirit

Mary - Golden, Colorado
Entered on April 23, 2009

This I believe…

The American spirit will rise above the world’s current economic, terrorism and global warming woes. The world is going through the biggest paradigm shift since the introduction of the wheel. American’s are the experts on reinventing ourselves. Our ancestors had the courage to leave the countries they knew and sometimes loved to come here and build a better life. They were willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make things better for future generations of their families. Some left countries where the rich were born rich and stayed rich and the poor were born poor and stayed poor. America gave them the opportunity, whether rich or poor, to make their own way. Not everyone succeeded but at least everyone had a chance.

The new world is going to require all of us to think differently. In order to contain global warming, we have to change our habits and this includes reducing our consumption. This runs counter to the way our economy has worked for some time. Many of our products are not built to last even though we have the capacity to ensure they do. We didn’t mind too much because we liked getting new cars, a different house, new clothes, or another tool. This has created a lot of waste and caused pollution and, quite frankly was a blast while it lasted. Game over. I’m not suggesting this will be easy but neither was writing the constitution. I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said, “We have to all hang together or surely, we will each hang alone.”

This I believe: We are going to have to come up with some new ways of thinking about our economy- based on something besides consuming. This I believe – we will find a way. We have this in our genes – the sense of adventure in facing something completely new and different.

As soon as we American’s get past our anger and frustration at being forced to change and trying to find whom to blame, we WILL get on with it. We possess a special kind of impatience in America. The kind of impatience that gets sick of waiting for the government to come up with the perfect solution for all of our woes. We get tired of waiting around and we start coming up with solutions.

This I believe – we still live in the best country on earth. We’ve made many mistakes: attacking the Indians, allowing slavery, tolerating prejudice, and most recently lowering ourselves to our enemy’s standards and resorting to torture. But we self-correct – we come to our senses – we start to think again and remember who we are. We are America and we will not only get through this, we will come out stronger. We always do and we always will.