I remember reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in school. My favorite line was always, "One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
America, on your birthday, I remember that over two centuries ago, brave men gathered to write the Declaration of Independence. I am grateful for that document because it inspired our United States Constitution. A document used in many facets of life to right many wrongs and some will say to uphold some. Each time our Supreme Court releases its decision in a landmark case, I am reminded of how fragile and yet powerful a document it is.
I appreciate that document more when I see mass demonstrations for freedom, like the one in Egypt that ousted its president. As President John F. Kennedy said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
So each year on your birthday, I look back on our history. And while we have come from a humble beginning, I know we have a ways to go, before we achieve our founders' goal of being the United States of America.
But America, I can't blame you, I blame our citizens for holding us back. Too often we point blame at everything and everyone, but ourselves. Yet it is us, the citizen, that send representatives to elected office. The divisions over race, women's rights, same-sex marriage, fair pay, education and health care funding are easy to repair, if we let go of our bitterness and division and sit at the table to enjoy some sweet apple pie.
Division seems to go away when we are attacked, or a natural disaster hits our states. They go away every four years, when we cheer on our athletes of different races and religions representing America at the Olympics. But they appear so quickly when elected officials and the media use talking points to divide. Unfortunately, it is too easy to divert our attention from getting to the table to have some of your sweet apple pie.
Instead, we focus on what we cannot do, not what we can do. We pay too much attention on what the rich or the poor are getting. Like a child saying his piece is bigger than mine! He got more than me. We focus on what community got the bigger share of the pie. Trivial issues get our attention like George Zimmerman, the N-word, Housewives or the Kardashians. In these moments we forget about our own problems.
We spend more time watching the television, making others wealthy, sending them our share of the pie. Too much time talking about who got what, or what someone else did with their share instead of the pie, instead of pursuing our own happiness. Before we realize it, someone else has taken a place at the table and eating that share of sweet apple pie.
As a business owner, I have ups and downs. Every day is a grind, a race to get my piece of sweet apple pie. To get it, I have to run faster, get up earlier, last longer than those who too are trying to get their piecee. That's what America is about. It is the American story. That pie is why so many come from other countries, because they get a smell of that sweet apple pie and they want a piece too. Can you blame them? They see us fighting one another and see a way to get a the share of the pie that could be yours if there were more people working hard for their share versus so many sitting at home complaining and pointing fingers and others sitting at home to get whatever the government may give them.
Next Part II: One Nation Under God - Happy 237th Birthday America