I am an American. I'm reluctant to call myself proud, but I will always recognized that I am blessed. I'm reluctant to use the word proud because I did not do anything to earn the right to be an American, I just happened to be born in the right time at the right place. I will own all of the baggage that comes with being American, from treatment of Natives to wars that I disagree with because I also own all of the prosperity that living in this land has afforded me. I cannot say that I am always proud, but I am always American, and always blessed.
America is not a shining city on a hill, or the last great hope for the world, but she has become a land where good men and women can become those things if they take the responsibility of blessing and do not mistake it for right or privilege. We have the freedom to live, almost as freely as we would choose, I pray that we would choose to live in order to make this world better for having been a part of it.
I would pray that freedom of speech would be used to check our government and demand the common good and not to exploit and demean in the name of entertainment. I would pray that the freedom of religion would be used to draw us closer to God and not to generate wealth. I pray that freedom of assembly would be used to gather as like-minded individuals to provoke change for the better and not to rally fear and hatred. I pray that our right to petition would be used to promote change and progress rather than to demand our entitlements and voice discontent without real desire to change.
On the eve of this election, I pray that every American would exercise a right to vote. Even if it means going to the polls and casting a blank ballot in protest of a flawed system. I will exercise my right to vote because pride or blessing, every dollar spent, every criminal imprisoned, every bullet fired, every mother helped, every hurricane victim housed, every bill that becomes a law, and every law that changes lives rests not only on the shoulders of the decision-makers, but squarely on the shoulders of this decision-maker whose responsibility it is to make a decision tomorrow.