Lance Scranton: Doing or being?
There’s so much fury in our culture today.
As the smoke settles over the battlefield of the Supreme Court nomination of Brent Kavanaugh, it’s time we all just relax a little bit before midterm elections go full insanity. The country I moved to many years ago, the country where I met my wife and raised my children, the country that accepted me as a citizen, the country that
afforded me a life that I consider blessed, the country I love, needs a break.
You afforded me opportunity, and I embraced the idea that I could become part of a country that welcomed anyone, including me, as long as I made a determination that I would do my best to fit-in and follow a few simple guidelines.
Being an American means:
• We pull for each other because it’s not about you — it’s about the USA.
• We don’t always get everything we want, but we do our best to reward those who try.
• We don’t always agree with each other, but we make room for all of our opinions.
• We think about things in many different ways, but we do our best to get along with each other.
• We think that, above all, being an American is the best of the other options currently available.
It’s frowned upon by some countries to boast of greatness, because it’s about being part of the bigger picture, but Americans have made it clear from the beginning that the big picture won’t be as big, or great, without a place where people have the opportunity to dream big and strive for greatness.
Being part of a country that is unashamedly proud of it’s heritage as a free people who live out the bedrock ideal of being able to self-determine is what prevents us from becoming too pompous when we consider all that it took to secure this idea of freedom. We do our best to take a look in the mirror and consider if all that we are becoming reflects the best characteristics of our right to self-determine.
I listen to people espouse hatred and know that they are being protected by laws that give them a voice in our democracy.
I hear people trash-talk our country and know that their voices are being heard, because expressed ideas are protected in a free country.
I join those who worship on Sundays, and know that I am being part of the fabric that has stitched together a pretty amazing country.
I participate in the great experiment that is our democracy, and I know that we are being those who try their best to live out the mandates of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Wrongdoing should always be exposed and justice apportioned accordingly, but if we forget about our being as citizens and people, not much else is going to matter.
Lance Scranton is a teacher and coach at Moffat County High School.