America, I Love You
I love America. A lot. I love my country so much that I named my firm American Speechwriter. There’s more to it, though. I write with an American voice for international clients looking to reach American audiences. While there’s also a strong global aspect to my work, I am proud of my country and I’m proud to be American.
That’s not a political statement. Indeed, I strive to love my neighbors no matter how they vote and no matter who they support.
I don’t love everything we do or the actions of everyone who shares this land. Yet, here is so much I do appreciate.
I do love baseball, Norman Rockwell, hot dogs, and Robert Frost. Yes, I know, I know. I’m sentimental.
There’s so much here that is wonderful.
Whatever your politics, you can vote for your candidate. If you don’t like the results, you can be vocal about replacing the people in charge. In the case of the president, he (or she) will be gone in 10 years at most.
You can blog about your faith (unlike Afghanistan, China, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Yemen). Whoever you worship (or not), you are free to opine accordingly.
Where I Have Been
I’ve significantly been to Washington DC, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, California, New York, Ohio, and Colorado. I lived several decades in Illinois — both near Chicago and in central Illinois. I now live in north Georgia.
I’ve Seen Awful Things
I’ve walked through prisons near the Everglades and Illinois. I heard horrible stories. I’ve met men who I hope never see the other side of the gate. I’ve known men who have killed for a bottle of wine and women who sold their bodies for a sniff of cocaine. Rapists, drug dealers, arsonists.
I Saw Evil Up Close
In my own high school, Larry Busby, my cross country coach, was found guilty of sexually abusing my teammates. In junior high, in 1980, I watched a neighbor move away after white supremacists aggressively harassed their home. One of their children sat in front of me in class. And in my own grade school, principal Lee Stamberg was found guilty of possessing child pornography.
Of course, this grieves me. That’s not all I see. I say this to point out there’s evil out there. Is that all you see?
I See Hope
In contrast, I also met men who regret their decision and the related hurt it caused people. Not just men. I met women who are teaching fellow inmates to read. When some of the inmates were released, I’ve seen them live redeemed lives, reunited with spouses and children and making strides to a better life. (One easy way you can help — Prison Fellowship’s Project Angeltree. Other places I support are here.).
My own clients show me good things daily. They quietly give millions of dollars to make the world better through scholarships, food and water access in Africa and Asia, fighting sex trafficking and more.
Most importantly, I believe people can change. A politician once asked, “Got hope?” Yes I do. Loads of it.
Racism in America
Georgia famously has and has had racism. I go to Stone Mountain often — I’m a member (great place to hike). The KKK rebooted its evil organization there. The Confederate carving on the wall disturbs me. I personally would love it removed as it celebrates those leading a treasonous effort to divide these United States for the sake of protecting slavery (note, any comments to this site trying to revise this truth won’t be published). Some say that’s hiding history. We won’t forget when bigots enslaved humans legally. I say it is improving the future.
Martin Luther King referenced a better future in his I Have a Dream speech.
Racism is more than a black:white thing, but that’s the sort I saw growing up. I’m honored to have had clients have me help them with that topic (typically leadership speeches either about racial diversity or pushing through racial barriers).
However, I also see diversity in my own city. Real diversity. No token friends of other races but integration of people as it always should be. Real America.
Therefore, I’m hopeful for our country. I always have been. I’m glad to be American. I love my country: her people are my people. That said, all things will collapse. God said that. He also said he’s coming back. That’s my faith. I can express that here because our Constitution protects that freedom, just as it equally does if you are an atheist, a Buddhist, or a Muslim. That, to me, is as beautiful as the purple mountain majesties of Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains.
I Love July 4
I love July 4. My neighbors are from a dozen countries. For example, I know neighbors include people from Uruguay, France, Mexico, Korea, Thailand, and India. Several Americans are from non-mainland areas like Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Politically more diverse than places I’ve lived before (mostly Democrat Southside of Chicago, mostly Republican Wheaton, Illinois, and mostly conservative Bloomington, Illinois). This holiday, we gathered for a BBQ and shared a meal. Namely, we brought tomatoes sliced just right for all-American burgers. We brought Hungarian stuffed cabbage. We brought ourselves. We are America.
This July 4, we found ourselves again together watching fireworks in the streets. We stood side-by-side, bearing a dozen colors and accents, with the flicker of red, white, and blue in our eyes.
So many people cloister into their homes or only amongst like-minded or similar hobbied friends. I’m glad where I lived isn’t that way because I’m not that way. Moreover, my neighbors love each other. And we are learning ways to do that better. Because of that, I smile.
America isn’t perfect. Do I need to tell you that? My sight of my land isn’t pollyannic. I think it is in vogue to claim impending death of the USA or other malcontent. That seems encouraged by the memes shared across social media. That is, I see strife — heavy, anguished strife: the shooters, the anger toward our current president as well as the previous one, the division over various social issues. I get it, but I won’t join the cynics, the haters, or the moaners.
In other words, I want a better America. Specifically, I want us to find a way to love each other. That takes risk, effort, and forgiveness. Can you do that? You can.
I’m not among those complaining. I don’t. I won’t. Why? I can’t. My glass isn’t half-full. My cup is overflowing.
I love America. I want to be part of the solution. Join me.
I am American.
Please see my blog on speech writing.