Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How do we define America?

Defining America: How Do We Do It?
                In all of my 19 years of life, I really cannot come up with a definition of America. I used to have different definitions because of my upbringing. I thought at first it was to go to church and worship God. Then I realized that Christianity is not the only religion in our country. Then I thought it was to go to school and then get a job and then get married and all that jazz. Then I thought it was to do community service to those in need and fix things. Turns out, I was wrong.  Which then brings me to this question: how do we define it then? Is it what defines us? Or are we what define it?
                 I have come to some ideas about how to define what America is or what being an American means. Some thoughts are that we must help others. When I was around six or seven, I joined cub scouts and learned from there that service projects are a good way to be recognized. And by recognized I mean having your name and picture in the paper for all to see. But that isn’t enough I feel. It’s lacking something. It’s lacking a sense of originality. People have been doing service projects all the time, so what makes me an American for doing one?
                Another idea is that it’s going to church. Who knows, it quite possibly could. Except for the fact that our country has so many different religions and we don’t all believe in Christianity. I thought being an American meant going to church, going to school, getting a good job and getting married. Not all people do those things. As for myself, I am a Christian, or a follower of Jesus. I believe he came and died for our sins and resurrected. But that does not define what America is.
                I have come up with one viable solution to the dilemma of defining America and what it means to be an American, and that is that we must incorporate both of my previous two ideas to formulate this one. To be an American, we need to help each other in my opinion. If we don’t, how are we to expect help from those around us? We can’t. It’s like saying, do this for me, but, I’m not going to do anything for you. That just isn’t going to cut it if we want our country to function.   
                Fro m time to time, our opinion of things will change. The reasons will be our own. The biggest reason for change in my opinion is that our country is growing and expanding. Another reason is that our economy is changing and slowly as of late declining. This means that we will have to eventually do things on our own and not be so wasteful.  With that, we could go back to when our country was founded, agriculturally speaking. They were, in my eyes the truest form of being American and what America means. They held every virtue to the highest and did things on their own.
 With this being said, having a set of beliefs is also very important. A favorite verse in the bible, Proverbs 11:17 says when you are kind to others, you help yourself; when you are cruel to others, you hurt yourself. With having this sort of mindset along with the other ideas, I can go on happily knowing that I have my definition of America and what being a n American means.
In conclusion, America means to have a set of beliefs and a sense of community. Nowadays, you really don’t see it. I at least am going to try to change this.

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