In case you have not heard, we have an election coming up in just a few weeks here in America. There are people running for many different local and state offices as well as the Presidency of the United States. We have a wide range of views represented by several different political parties. Everyone is free to express those differences in TV ads, online emails and text messages that never seem to end. Voters will ultimately decide who they want to run our country. As a nation, we have had our share of ups and downs, wars (both domestic and foreign), many political differences and financial and economic challenges. But America is still a pretty good place to live!
I understand this Tip goes around the world each week, so I encourage those of you who live in other countries to be proud of your own country as well. No country is perfect because countries are all made up of imperfect people. However, since the beginning of time all of us have wanted to live in a way that brings about love, joy, and peace into our daily life.
When I was in high school, I had to learn a poem called, I Am the Nation. Recently I was going through a box of old memorabilia and I came across this story/poem. Although I do not remember it word for word, it certainly came back to me quickly as I was reading the 4 x 6 cards that it was typed out on in 1966, my senior year in high school. The cards have turned yellow with age, but the truth found in the words of the story is as current today as they were when I was in high school. Rather than belittle our country for its faults, this story takes the high road about the positive contributions many people have made. Anyone can find fault with anything they want to. It takes effort to see goodness.
I was interested and amused as I noticed that a few of the numbers have changed concerning the number of Americans, the number of farms, the number of schools and colleges, and the number of churches. To be current and more accurate, I have updated those numbers for your convenience.
Regardless of your view of your country or any country, I think it is important to be grateful and proud that you are alive and aspiring to want a better life. Because of the upcoming election, I wanted to share this story/poem with you. It means so much to me.
I AM THE NATION
I was born on July 4, 1776, and the Declaration of Independence is my birth certificate. The blood lines of the world run in my veins because I offered freedom to the oppressed. I am many things, and many people. I am the nation.
I am 370 million living souls – and the ghost of millions who have lived and died for me.
I am Nathan Hale and Paul Revere. I stood at Lexington and fired the shot heard around the world. I am Washington, Jefferson, and Patrick Henry. I am John Paul Jones, the Green Mountain Boys and Davy Crockett. I am Lee and Grant and Abe Lincoln.
I remember the Alamo, the Maine, and Pearl Harbor. When freedom called, I answered and stayed until it was over, over there. I left my heroic dead in Flanders Fields, on the rock of Corregidor, on the bleak slopes of Korea, and in the steaming jungle of Vietnam.
I am the Brooklyn Bridge, the wheat lands of Kansas and the granite hills of Vermont. I am the coalfields of the Virginias and Pennsylvania, the fertile lands of the West, the Golden Gate, and the Grand Canyon. I am Independence Hall, the Monitor, and the Merrimac.
I am big. I sprawl from the Atlantic to the Pacific…my arms reach out to embrace Alaska and Hawaii…3 million square miles throbbing with industry. I am more than 2 million farms. I am forest, field, mountain, and desert. I am quiet villages and cities that never sleep.
You can look at me and see Ben Franklin walking down the streets of Philadelphia with his bread loaf under his arm. You can see Betsy Ross with her needle. You can see the lights of Christmas and hear the strains of “Auld Lang Syne” as the calendar turns.
I am Babe Ruth and the World Series. I am 140,000 schools and colleges, and 350,000 churches where my people worship God as they think best. I am a ballot dropped in a box, the roar of a crowd in a stadium and the voice of a choir in a cathedral. I am an editorial in a newspaper and a letter to a Congressman.
I am Eli Whitney and Stephen Foster. I am Tom Edison, Albert Einstein, and Billy Graham. I am Horace Greeley, Will Rogers, and the Wright brothers. I am George Washington Carver, Daniel Webster, and Jonas Salk.
I am Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Walt Whitman, and Thomas Paine.
Yes, I am the nation, and these are the things that I am. I was conceived in freedom and, God willing, in freedom I will spend the rest of my days.
May I possess always the integrity, the courage, and the strength to keep myself unshackled, to remain a citadel of freedom and a beacon of hope to the world.
This is my wish, my goal, my prayer in this year of 2020 – two hundred and forty-four years after I was born.
I hope you enjoyed that story and I hope you are proud of your country. Regardless of where you live, your country is not perfect. However, you and I can continue to do everything possible to make it better every day of our lives. After all, it is your country!
Tip: Love your country!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm