Tuesday, July 05, 2011

American ... and proud of it!

It's hard to imagine, but we're more than half way through 2011.

Seems like each year goes by faster than the last. It also seems as though each year is more and more jam-packed with noteworthy items, both personally and in the grand scheme of things.

Like many red-blooded Americans, I've spent the last few days soaking up time with my family. Parks, playgrounds, swimming pools and plenty of good eats have made up my holiday weekend.

I know the founding fathers didn't pick July 4 as their day to tell King George off for convenience sake, but it sure seems to work out for us, doesn't it?

It's nice to have a few days where we put all of our partisanship and bickering aside and just be American. No politics. Just national pride.

Of course, this weekly column thrives on politics. The past couple columns have been quite political — to some. And they've generated a great deal of response. Some of that response has been favorable. Much has been contrary. I appreciate both, quite frankly.

I'm not one of those guys who believes America needs to apologize to the world for looking out for our own best interest. But I'm also not one of those guys who believes that we do no wrong. We may be the best, but that doesn't mean we don't have room to improve.

I can't help but wonder, as I chow down on hot dogs and hamburgers and watch the rockets' red glare, whether the founding fathers would be proud of our accomplishments or aghast at the bumps we have hit in the road.

I'm inclined to think they may be a bit of both.

Keep in mind, their desire to form a more perfect union had bumps of its own. And although we look back 235 years and are in awe at what they did back then, which makes it possible for us to do all that we can do now, remember that they were human beings just like us. As perfect as we are ... which is to say that they weren't.

I'd like to think that each generation of Americans is freer than the last. I'd like to think that each generation of Americans has more opportunities than the last. I'd also like to think that I could fly and travel in time. It's simply not true.

There will be setbacks from time to time. There will be occasions where we look around and say to ourselves, "This isn't how it's supposed to happen."

That's normal. Natural. Ebb and flow.

As long as we recover from those setbacks and always remember to get back to building that more perfect union, we'll continue to thrive. We'll continue to be the best nation in the history of everything.

If you took time out this weekend to pay homage to those who have lost all so you could have all that you have, that's great. If you simply enjoyed the time with your friends and family, that's perfectly OK, too. After all, that's the reason that those who came before us did what they did. So you could live the life you wanted.

We've still got a lot of 2011 before us. Enjoy it. And remember you only get to enjoy it once. So do so to the fullest.