Principle #6 – Move to Action and Find the Goodness in Humanity

What does it mean to be an American? I think it has a different meaning for everyone. We are a country that has challenges from other countries and within our own borders. But our country is resilient, and we always overcome obstacles. Our democracy is tested every day, but we will overcome this because our American values always prevail.

My belief of being an American citizen means freedom of speech, religion, and having fair elections where every vote counts. We have opportunities for employment, education, owning a home, and equal justice. And we have the freedom of protesting and making our voice heard to ensure these things are available for all Americans. I’m a proud American, and I believe in the values of our citizens and the values of our federal government.

These freedoms are the cornerstone of our democracy. And as Americans, we are entitled to these liberties. But, sometimes, we may take for granted the kindness and generosity of our American values.

“People in power are trying to convince us that the villain in our American story is each other. But that is not our story. That is not who we are. That is not our America. Our United States of America is not about us versus them. It’s about We the People!” – Senator Kamala Harris

I asked my grandson what it means to him to be an American. He told me for there to be civil rights and for everyone to help each other. Wowee…I’m a proud Mammy! We talked about civil rights, and he said he doesn’t understand why every person doesn’t have the same rights. I told him it’s an ongoing issue, but there is finally progress. My hope is in his lifetime, there will be lasting changes. He’s nine years old with a big sensitive heart.

“In America, change is possible. It’s in our hands. Together, I know we’ll get there. Look how far we’ve already come.” — Barack Obama

I agree with my grandson. I believe we are here to help one another. And that all people are created equal and should be treated as such. Our country is divided along party lines, and at times, I get stuck in the Democrat and Republican debate. Therefore, I lose sight of the goodness happening around me. Love and kindness have nothing to do with political beliefs. I think the American people are kind and share the same values…the same values our country was built on.

To prove my point, here are a couple of recent stories that touched my heart. This story is about a university police officer recently diagnosed with ALS and two young girls and their lemonade stand that raised money to help her. A very generous young man from Florida was planning on selling his belongings because he was moving and decided to give his clothes away to the homeless. And co-workers from a Waffle House in Alabama helped a student get to his graduation. The student didn’t have a ride, and the ceremony was an hour away.

You get the idea. These people are living the values of our country. Americans come together and help when it is needed. And we believe in the goodness of the human spirit.

“Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.” – Barbara De Angelis

As we celebrate the 4th of July with our family and friends, let’s pause and remember what it means to be an American: our freedoms, American values, and the goodness of our fellow citizens. Have a safe and happy 4th of July. Happy birthday America!

Freedom is possible! 


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