Give us strength and wisdom this holiday season...
To accept that all Americans mean well and want what's best for our nation. We just have different visions on how to make America better.
To help us accept and embrace Republicans who want a stronger America, but will never accept tax increases to pay for it, nor allow temporary tax cuts to expire.
To help us understand and appreciate Democrats who want a more equal America, even if it means taking from those who scraped and saved and giving to those who simply take and game the system.
To teach us to accept the good intentions of the Occupy Wall Streeters with their lack of a clear vision and their disdain for the public parks and the communities they occupy.
To let us embrace the Tea Party Movement as they are clean, orderly and patriotic, but we also need to understand how they can advocate tax cuts yet be unwilling to ask equally for specific spending cuts.
To let us all embrace and appreciate President Obama for his stoic reliability and calm presidential demeanor. He is doing the best he can given his experience and views, but I do wish we could help him understand that businesses create jobs and if he embraces the business community, jobs will follow. He also represents 100 percent of Americans and dividing them is not presidential.
To let us recognize and reward our soldiers who put it all on the line for our freedom. We must do all we can to ensure that when our heroes return, they can find good-paying jobs.
To let us recognize and thank our teachers. Much maligned, they struggle with rules, unions and declining budgets. But most are quite good and we entrust them with our children.
Finally, to let us appreciate and love all our fellow Americans who together inherited this wonderful country. We must do our parents proud and give our kids a better nation. If we can share a sense of common purpose, then we will all sacrifice for our children and the nation they will inherit.
During this season of hope, all Americans should try to understand that other Americans are not the enemy. We have different ideas but we share our gift and obligation of citizenship. We must not only enjoy the gift, we must make sure we meet our obligations to future generations. We must find leaders who can inspire us to give more and receive less.
Americans are exceptional. But any decline is our responsibility. We must accept this truth and act on it.
Gary Shapiro is president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the U.S. trade association representing more than 2,000 consumer electronics companies, and author of the New York Times bestselling book, 'The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream.'
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