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Don Anderson

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I need help with a dilemma: What does it mean to be American? And Why does it work?

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Up-date to thread’s scope: (July 10th)

Thanks for all the comments, they have been very helpful.
I have sorted out my feeling on being American, it maybe a jumbled mess but it is working for me. And to avoid rehashing what has been said I’ll leave it at that.

But the large diversity of views here, and within America’s culture, politics, values, heritages, etc. I have to ask;

Why does it work?

By most standards we are a highly dysfunctional group, and should be a failed society.
But here we are a great nation, and by most logic that should not be the case.
Yes we are the home of the free and the brave, but also home of tyrants, cowards, passive, aggressive, moral and immoral and I could go on and on forever.

Americans are often labeled as racist and intolerant, if that was true we would not have more nationalities and different cultures than any other country in the world.
Being American is a lessen tolerance and that is something we can’t experience in heaven, but I feel the lessen goes deeper than that.


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Is American where you live, or is American a belief in freedom and liberty for all?

Firstly let me state I believe we are here to learn from experience that we can’t have in heaven. And recently I have had two events in my life that have me confused as to the lesion I should be learning from them.

My Background: I’m just an average lower-middleclass Midwest American.

Experience 1: I have been researching my ancestry for about a year now, and I feel pride with my findings. So far my ancestors range from English noble that came to America in 1633, to peasant framer and serving maid from Prussia (Germany) in 1820. No slave owners, only union army soldiers, fought for America in the war for independence, etc.

Experience 2: Many people throughout the world, now are fighting and/or protesting for freedom and libe

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Closing Statement from Don Anderson

I just noticed that when I added the up-date at the top it cutoff some at the bottom.
Basically Experience 2 was feeling shame for the current America and how all the founding values gone, and asked how to address the confecting feelings.
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I have concluded that I can feel pride for upholding the founding values of America, and as I witness its fail I should feel sadness instead of shame. And find comfort in that like the Roman Empire it values will live on thought out the world, even though it exists in name only.

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    Jul 9 2013: Allow me to inject a different idea to enrich the discussion.

    How about the freedom of not belonging to any country?
    Let me call this character JOE.

    For the convenience of travel and or the right to work or run a business and earn a living,JOE can have citizenship papers of a country or countries of his choice.JOE is free to build businesses or share his expertise as he sees fit whenever and wherever he pleases.He concentrates on designing and executing solutions to the problems he can associate .

    JOE is liberated from the pretense that ,in many countries,the average JOE can influence the political life of his country.
    JOE is geared towards finding the best ideas and the best ways of doing things.He does not waste time defending his country and he does not suffer from the pretense ,pride and glory of belonging to a particular one .JOE is thus free from the bondage of belonginness.

    JOE is open minded and worldly. His freedom from belonging allows him and makes it easier on him to be more objective in identifying design; business;cultural opportunities.JOE also can have the advantage in thinking as a world citizen and take better care of the environment.

    The theme of this discussion point I raised is to shift thinking in an alternative way.
    I believe there are already may citizens of the world in different parts of the globe--i have no doubt about that.

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