“Land of Opportunity.” We’ve all heard these words. Indeed, we’ve probably all said them at one time or another. Sometimes when making the point of something unbelievable or perplexing. And with such opportunity, it’s easy to take for granted.
Consider that since John F Kennedy in 1960, we’ve elected our Presidents with major emphasis on how they look. While at the same time, asking beauty contestants about world affairs. While this may seem like an indictment on our system, it is actually a confirmation. As we obviously feel comfortable enough with all of the leaders that we are willing to consider something as mundane as attractiveness.
But what is the “secret” of this “land of Opportunity?” The answer is three simple words: “We the people.”
So important are these three words, that they are the beginning of the Constitution of our country. “We the people” means our country takes its direction from THE PEOPLE, not the people from the government. Bring together the people from 100′s of countries, let them stew for a few generations, and we become more than the sum of the parts. Because, only with freedom, can we rid ourselves of the past oppression and come together for the common good and personal achievement. “We the people” makes that possible.
Look within your neighborhood and you’ll find a veritable United Nations. Mexico, Canada, United States, Colombia, Guatemala, Cuba, India, Pakistan, Australia, and more represented.
Whether you want to consider 1870 as the year Blacks received the opportunity to vote, or 1964 from the Civil Rights act, that should give you some pause as to the tremendous struggle there has been in our creation as a nation. Women had to wait until 1920 for the right that is now taken for granted. Even Native Americans (Indians) had to wait until 1924 for that right.
Thousands of Blacks died fighting for both sides in the Civil war. 100′s of thousands of Americans died in WWI, the war to end all wars. 400,000 more died in World War II. Hundreds of thousands more for Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Desert Storm I, Desert Storm II, Afghanistan, and even peacekeeping.
But for what? For “We the people.” Because without “we the people,” we truly are just another country. But with “we the people,” we become a single unit. One you can’t truly defeat because no matter what happens, the very soul of the country continues. For “we the people” is our very essence.
So the next time you hear “Only in America” stated with derision or sarcasm, just smile. Because the phrase is really a compliment and a testament to the true secret of our nation. This Independence Day, remember…”We the people.”