I used to think that being an American meant we were independent. I saw strength and that we were better together.
My husband spent some time this summer studying for the US Citizenship test. 100 questions that every American should know, but most likely, naturalized Americans know more than natural-born Americans. I can speak for myself on this, as I studied right along with him and learned a lot – things I knew, but could not recite from memory. Well, it paid off and my husband became a US Citizen on Thursday. He had 11 family members in attendance – four who came from Mexico expressly for this ceremony and seven of us who already live here.
We decided to go through this at this time due, in fact, to the upcoming presidential election in November. He wants to vote.
I don’t want to participate in any political debates here, but I wanted to express my opinion of the state of not just the US right now, but the state of the world.
When I was younger, I grew up believing that challenges and differences made us stronger. It was a point where I could learn something about others and myself and make “hard” decisions that would affect my future.
When did the tides turn? When did hearing an opinion different from mine or seeing someone different from me evoke so much displeasure that it was OK to eliminate it/them? The world would be such a boring place if everyone looked like and thought like me.
What happened to the pride of the “melting pot” that is the US? What happened to compassion? What happened to empathy and sympathy? We have become cold-hearted and that makes me sad.
When did we become so afraid of something or someone that is different? I don’t want to live in a state of fear. That is not what it means to be an American.