For those of you who think our form of government (Democracy) is too divided, fractious, and subject to partisanship let me share this . . .
In the summers between ’73-77′ I worked at a camp on Cape Cod that oftened employed immigrants coming to the States from other countries.
One day I was working with a woman named Marina who was immigrating from Russian, where she left behind a prestigious career, success, and family.
I can’t remember why she decided to leave Russia or the circumstance that brought her to our country, but I distinctly remember asking her, “What is the main difference between life in Russia and life in the States?”
“Life in Russia is easy”, she said. “Life in America is hard.”
That made me wonder why she decided to leave in the first place until she continued.
“But life in Russia is not normal. Life in America is normal.”
Yes, democracy and the freedoms it allows is hard. Sometimes harder than our will to honor and cherish it. Sometimes pushing us beyond our comfort zone. Where the peices rarely fit together without difficulty and friction. Where we often must compromise for the greater good.
[I’m not talking about discarding fundamental principles.]
What makes America great is not policy. Policy is the evidence of our concern and respect for each other as fellow citizens of this great Country and the world at large – or at least it should be.
What makes America great is the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution. Of our commitment to equal protection under the Law for all citizens. The very laws that we ourselves create and decide upon, not laws imposed on us by some dictatorial State.
Yes, life here in the United States of America is hard, but it is a life of freedom where all citizens can pursue life, liberty, and happiness. One that provides us a normal life where each of us can choose our faith, direction, and purpose.
I’ll take that any day!