I Am A Proud American!
I can’t pinpoint exactly when it seemed to become “trendy” for some to downplay the great legacy of honoring our founding fathers and upholding the laws in America that make it such a special land of promise!
Why I Am A Proud American!
I know it sounds simplistic, but I believe that America is worthy of our deep admiration and devotion! I regard the daily freedoms I enjoy in this great country as precious gifts that give me the opportunity to contribute, love, and dream as I work hard to create an even brighter future for those who will follow after me. While the nightly news might convince me otherwise, I am a proud American! Here are just a few reasons why:
• Laws of the Land
Equal justice under the law is at the heart of American democracy. President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Ours is a government of liberty, by, through, and under the law. No man is above it and no man below it.” Faithfulness to the laws allows us to live in a civil society in which everyone’s rights are respected, where each of us is guaranteed liberty and equality of opportunity. My parents also taught me that obeying the law meant that everyone is accountable; my desires should never infringe upon the rights of others. If we are dissatisfied with a law and want it changed, we need to become active in the judicial system and join forces with like-minded people and vote for leaders who will fight for the changes we seek through the proper channels as defined by the laws of the land. My hope is that as a nation we can always try to bring about change with decency and kindness. History has shown us that in the long run, profanity, obstinance, and misuse of authority, rarely lends itself to a positive dynamic in providing a better lifestyle for a country’s citizens.
“Democracy cannot breathe, indeed it will die, if those enjoined to protect it and uphold the law snuff it out with no consequences.” Marian Wright Edelman
• Education Opportunities
You’ve heard the term, “Knowledge is power” –unlike many places in the world where access to even the most basic education is severely limited, there are numerous education opportunities in the United States. My father was a professor at our local university and truly believed that getting a good education was fundamental to personal growth. Education really is one of the best tools for social change, economic development and prosperity in a country. I also believe it is ultimately the driving force behind improving the quality of human life; it’s at the core whereby the combined knowledge, skills and values are passed on to a new generation. When armed with a good education and the experiences that it provides, each of us can better reach our potential and make a more positive impact on society when we are gainfully employed, take responsibility for providing for ourselves and our families, and build on the achievements made by those who came before us…it gives us a much broader perspective of the advantages we enjoy in America!!
• Quality Healthcare
Having been a maternity and NICU nurse now for many years now, I have definitely had a bird’s-eye view of the many advancements and quality of care available to the citizens of the United States. We seem to hear a lot lately about the problems with healthcare in America, and while the need to improve availability and decrease costs is an ongoing concern…let’s not forget what is good about the quality of our healthcare system.
According to the highly acclaimed Health Catalyst Center, that tracks significant healthcare outcomes, senior advisor, Dr. John Haughom, shares via their website, some of the impressive data that shows how the overall health of the American population has significantly improved during the past century due to innovative medical research and technology.
Here are some to consider:
1. The average life expectancy has increased from just shy of 50 years old in the early 1900’s to 80 years due to preventative health education and immunizations that have alleviated the outbreak of epidemic diseases.
2. The availability of preemptive cancer screening. With their regular yearly check-ups, women will receive a Pap smear which indicates cervical and uterine cancer, they will also receive a mammogram after the age of 40 unless family history suggests they be done at an earlier age. Tests are routinely done for colon cancer after age 50, as well.
3. Americans receive state of the art treatment for chronic diseases such as high blood cholesterol and heart disease. Statin drugs may be given and education is available to help in the prevention of strokes and heart attacks.
4. The rate of hospital acquired conditions (ie. adverse drug events or surgical infections) has improved due to strict requirements for professional licensing, clinical practices founded on scientific research, and high standards for accreditation of the hospitals themselves.
5. Health care spending per person has grown steadily in the last several decades, from $355 per capita in 1970 to $9,900 in 2016. On average, other wealthy countries spend about half as much per person on health spending than is spent in the United States.
“Your greatest wealth is your health!” Virgil
• Extraordinary Bravery and Valor
We often hear America referred to as “the land of the free and home of the brave” …due in part, to the fortitude and devotion of brave soldiers who have answered the call to duty despite the challenges, sacrifice and hardships they may face. Throughout our nation’s history, dedicated military personnel have safeguarded our freedoms and way of life. Over the past decade, the current generation of soldiers have proved themselves worthy of their forebears’ distinction. In the darkest days of the war in Irag, their committed resolve seemed to surpass all expectations. In Afghanistan, the longest war in our nation’s history, they have thwarted the pervasive capabilities of transnational terrorists and are providing the strong leadership needed in overseeing that the necessary conditions are set in place so that no future radical enemies will settle there or in any of the other surrounding countries. I am in awe of our military and their steadfast dedication, valiant sacrifices and selfless service…I’m so grateful for their extraordinary bravery and courageous valor!
“American soldiers constantly demonstrate their uncanny ability to assess stressful situations, adapt quickly and make sound decisions, often at risk of life, but without hesitation. I’m absolutely convinced that this generation of young men and women, who willingly put their lives on the line for their country, is the next Greatest Generation.” Gen. Raymond Odierno, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army
• Entrepreneurial Spirit and Work Ethic
The history of American economy provides the largest and richest study on how entrepreneurs have advanced technology, organizations and social patterns in America. I recall that my history teachers taught that the first colonists were considered the earliest entrepreneurs in this country, as they carried with them a positive outlook and an exemplary work ethic as they pursued their dreams of freedom and success. America is still rich with opportunities today, and very much supports the pursuit of commerce and business advancements via the bright minds and diligent efforts of its citizens. But the American Dream, so to speak, still involves believing in the moral benefit of hard work and its ability to enhance our character so we can achieve our goals and be contributing members of society. I believe we should take ownership of our own prosperity–therein lies the ongoing motivation to persevere and even thrive as we work hard to create the life we envision for ourselves! There’s nothing quite like a healthy dose of creativity and drive to turn our dreams into our reality!
This is a short list of some of the reasons why I am a proud American and why I love this country I call home. It’s a huge privilege to celebrate the freedoms I enjoy as a citizen of this great land.
Take time to love your country and have a happy and blessed Independence Day!
Please take a minute to expand our perspective and share what makes you a proud American.
–With love, Mary