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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 24 2013: I believe in Win - Win. I think it is the basis for all trade. Both parties usually benefit otherwise they will not continue to trade. There is more profit in making the other person happy. You can screw people one time or you can mutually profit over the course of a lifetime. Which makes more sense?

    Now as to the slave trade; not good. Nor the hard drug trade, big pharma , big food , etc.. Business is not some paradise, but it does allow people from different backgrounds to engage with one another.
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      Jul 24 2013: Screwing the other guy for as long as possible makes more sense for the one doing the screwing.

      Trade is not win-win. It's winner take all based on competitive advantage. It's creates imbalances. You couldn't get half the World starving and the other half overweight without it.

      What evidence do you have to the contrary?
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        Jul 24 2013: Strictly based on that comment I say you’re in public education and single.
        The only industry that does not desire repeat customers that I can think of is public education.
        And single because without a win-win mindset second dates are rare. ;)

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