||What type of,
what sort of, what kind of American am I? Loving, caring, and peaceful?
Or am I a selfish, hogging, and insensitive person who wallows in the riches
and prosperity of the United States? In my opinion, I'm both.
Why be an American?
My mind has often worked over the answer to this question. The solution
tells me being an American is special, a privilege. If people were
reborn, their chances of landing in a beautiful and prosperous country
like America would be like winning the lottery. Being an American
gives you the power to lead your life; the power to become what you want;
the power to go where you want and to decide how you get there.
It is hard to analyze what
type of an American citizen I am. What am I through the eyes of my
friends? Educated? Nerdy? Caring? Self-interested?
I find my heart aches when I see an impoverished man in his soiled clothes
while ritzy Mercedes and Cadillacs flash by. My stomach becomes knotted
when I read of tragic happenings to families. I feel sorrow when
seeing a home devastated by war, hatred, and petty disputes. I find
I am a caring American who wishes to help people going through unfortunate
and traumatic times.
Yet, being an American means
I have selfish traits. Spoiled by the cornucopia of our country,
it's hard to imagine what the conditions of people in undeveloped countries
are like. Because I am American, the thought passing through my head
is, "What's for dinner tonight?" instead of, "Are we eating anything today?"
Without the pain of going hungry and sleeping under a tattered blanket
in a rickety shack, I do not have as much understanding of how to become
the ideal American I want to be.
And what is that ideal American?
If the American I want to be is ridiculed, it's only because the critic
has a different set of parameters as to the ideal American.
The ideal American to me is what makes me feel warm inside; what makes
me feel I am doing the right thing. I have visions of that kind of
American: loving, compassionate, responsible, peaceful, and a leader.
One able to lend a hand not just to any other American, but an Asian, a
European, an Indian, or any other human being of this planet.
Some Americans become national
leaders, others find success in forestry, another handful are detectives.
We each have a special place, and my special place is in a close family
with the ability to sense when people are in need. Though I feel
it, I don't act most of the time. I'm too spoiled by what this country
offers. What makes me a proud, satisfied American is when I lend
my services to pick up spilled groceries or see my money slip into the
hands of one in need. That is the American I want to be.