Freedom and independence is humanly universal in at least one respect: each of us can freely dream.
And while a dream of a better time and place is universal, it is also a value we Americans associate with our national independence. In many ways, America is a dream.
Today, July 4th, seems to me a good time to ask myself such questions as: what is my own American dream? Do I even still have one? Is it worth celebrating on this shared Independence Day for our nation? Is it worth working to attain?
Let’s find out.
I have a dream………
That America will one day privilege human rights above property rights.
That America will one day privilege stakeholders above shareholders.
That America will one day privilege fair markets above free markets.
That America will one day privilege people above profits.
That America will one day privilege equal justice above legal loopholes.
That America will one day privilege our common good above corporate greed.
That America will one day privilege faith in love above faith in religion.
That America will one day privilege restoration above retribution, rehabilitation above punishment, treatment above incarceration.
That America will one day privilege health care for all above profits for some.
That America will one day privilege housing for all above profits for some.
That America will one day privilege education for all above profits for some.
That America will one day privilege clean, renewable energy over fossil fuel combustion.
That America will one day be governed by democracy and not oligarchy.
And, finally, that America will privilege every other citizen of birth here as much as it has privileged me, having been born a white male into a middle class home without hunger or poverty, educated in public schools, immunized in public clinics, and facing no discrimination based on religion, sexual orientation, or personal disability. As privileged as I have been, I can only dream that all others become equally privileged here in this land we call America.
Yet, my American dream is just that: a dream. Far from being realized or reality. Far from a dream come true.
Dreams, you see, can only come true and become reality if we take them to the next level. If we turn them into our own goals with plans and strategies and, well, the hard work and inconvenience of persistence effort. Which is what separates Americans from Patriots. To be American is to dream.
To be Patriotic is to work until our American dream comes true.