I don’t know if it was being born outside the United States though I am not a citizen of Papua New Guinea (they don’t allow it.) Or being raised a global citizen by parents that knew what that meant and lived it but I have been privileged to be friends with people from all over the world. I don’t know if it is because my closest friends are non-white or are “mutts” like me which were raised as 3rd culture kids. I don’t know if it is because my family moved eight or nine times, before I finished high school. I don’t really know why, but I am not that proud of and I don’t get gushy about, being an “American” and most of the times in my life that I’ve been identified as American, it’s been embarrassing.
In that context, I just have to comment on how inspired I am by our President-elect, Obama — by his life, his choices, his rise to leadership, responsibility and authority, his civic care & commitment, his educational achievements, and his healthy family.
In one of his speeches recently, he said:
” In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long ….
To those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope ….
This is our moment. This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.”
And so, I’m feeling a little proud to have a decent, intelligent President-elect that inspires and challenges me. And I suppose I’m caught up in that sense of hopefulness. That is why I highlight this YouTube song here on my blog. Because although I am not yet that proud to be an American, this song gives me hope! Even if it is a country song. Even if it uses that old language of the Christian faith: born again. It has nothing to do with that.
And believe it or not, I have signed the pledge on the Born Again website. I commit to sort out how I can do something to make my country, my community in Madison, a better place for the less fortunate, the widow, the orphan, the incarderated, the poor. This will take fortitude, commitment, deep thought and prayer.
If it is true I am my country’s keeper then we must commit ourselves to being active, involved and thoughtful citizens—a Born Again American? It sounds like an unlikely use of words, but I like it.
Will you share your voice. Declare your commitment. Perhaps sign the Pledge. Make your own video or add to the lyrics of the song and share it with the world!
And let me know what you decided to do! And I will do likewise.