Saturday, July 04, 2009

What Makes the United States Great...

On this 4th of July, here are the strengths that made and make the United States a great nation:

1) Unalienable Rights: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."
2) Work ethic
3) Diversity
4) Oceans that protect/buffer us
5) Good supply of natural resources
6) Free public libraries
7) Free and good public education system
8) Visionary Constitution & Bill of Rights
9) Strong belief in the rule of law
10) Religious freedom
11) Free speech
12) Belief in American ideals -- Truth, Justice, and the American Way
13) Free market economy balanced by some government controls
14) Good network of roads
15) Building codes
16) Spirit of adventure and entrepreneurship
17) Good water & sewer systems
18) Pervasive belief in the rule of law
19) Democratic gov't with checks & balances between legislative, executive, and judicial branches
20) Welfare, Social Security, Unemployment Benefits
21) Willingness to question, change, and adapt
22) Reliable mail delivery
23) Willingness to negotiate and compromise
24) Justice: Our legal system
25) The belief a man can make his own destiny
26) Parks

Here are some things we still need to work on:
1) Healthcare system
2) Reducing our environmental footprint

And here are some things that have hurt us in the past and that we must work to avoid:
1) Hubris
2) Being too prudish / puritanical / extreme
3) Compromising our American ideals for short term expediency
4) Laziness
5) Greed
6) Carelessness
7) Indifference
8) Hypocrisy

One of the US's greatest accomplishments is to see that more nations also achieve our strengths. By helping our neighbors worldwide, we help ourselves.

Tim Oey