4 Things About America

List the top four things you love about your country.

Honestly, my first reaction to this prompt was that it would be far easier to list four things I hate about this country. I live in The United States of America. I’ve never lived anywhere else, so my perspective is very narrow. I have lived on both coasts and in the middle, so I probably have a broader perspective than some. OK, then, four things I love about this country:

The Constitution

I’m a big fan. The founding fathers constructed a document that sets forth the rules. While hardly infallible, as all the amendments testify, it is the foundation on which this country runs. It gives its citizens freedom. It tells us what is and what is not acceptable. It sets down what is expected from every American and it is a brilliant document. You should read it sometime.

The Diversity

Denizens of the United States come from every corner of the world. Outside of native Americans, not a single one of us is indigenous. We all have ancestors who got on a boat, or even a plane, and came here or were brought here. Whether you are a first generation American or fiftieth, we’re all descendants of foreigners. Time was, we welcomed everyone of every nationality to come over in search of a better life. I’d like to see that happen again.

The Terrain

Much like our inhabitants, the country itself is incredibly diverse. We have mountain ranges, deserts, plains, massive forests, places with omnipresent summers and persistent winters. No matter your personal definition of majestic landscape, you can probably find it here. Almost every geological feature on Earth is found somewhere in this country (although we do have a shocking dearth of fjords). The United States is simply beautiful. I’d highly recommend starting at once coast and driving to the other. You won’t believe the different views you will encounter from hour to hour.

The American Dream

I just wrote a post the other day about how the American dream–working for a better life for your children than your own–seems to be an elusive, mystical thing of the past, but it doesn’t have to be that way. To this day, immigrants like my grandparents come here in search of a better life than they have at home. The sheer number of possibilities present within our borders is still awe-inspiring. I’d like to see this country become a place where people from all over the world are welcomed to search for the American dream once again. I’d like the words printed on the Statue of Liberty to mean what they once did. I’d like to have an American dream myself.