Since I grew up in America, being an American should be nothing new to me, but the concept of being an American is a lot more complicated than what I first thought. To an outsider, being an American is nothing more than living in America, but to an American it means much more. The values that make someone an American throughout the past and today are unity and the never ending need for improvement. These values make America the strong country we are today.
Unity is a significant value to an American because unity holds our country together. As a united country we survived the Great Depression, defeated slavory, and pulled through 9/11. We are tough, we got through it and without being united after those hard times United states as a nation would crumble apart. Our country is, after all, named the United States of America. In Mcamey’s article “What Does It Mean to be an American,” they expand on unity saying “Unity doesn’t mean everyone should have the same culture. America is beautifully diverse. Being unified is simply being able to come help each other out.”(McCamey) This unity makes America stronger not only as a nation but more importantly as a community.
Improvement is an important value to Americans because we know that no matter what we do, America will never be perfect. The forefathers who wrote the constitution of America, one of America’s most important documents knew this when they wrote “ in order to form a more perfect union.” (The Constitution of the United States) They did not say a perfect union rather, “a more perfect union.”(The Constitution of the United States) They put this in there to leave room for improvement. Konrad expands on this idea of improvement by saying, “When looking back on the atrocities in our country’s past, you would conclude that Americans aren’t perfect. But Americans are humans, and no human is perfect. We cherish our values and ideals, and even fight to the death for them. America was founded on the hope for a better way of life, and the hope for a society built on the principles of justice and equality” (Konrad) Yes, America isn’t perfect but its never ending goal of improvement makes it as perfect union as it can be.
For these reasons these values set America out from all other countries. These values of unity and of never ending need for improvement Americans have both now and in the past, make America the strong country we are today. Although these are not the only values that make up an American, these values are the most important. So thank you all Americans for staying united and open to improvement in the past, and let’s hope we can do the same in the future.
McCamey,“What Does It Mean to Be American?” What Does It Mean to Be American? – American Creed, https://writingourfuture.nwp.org/americancreed/responses/123-what-does-it-mean-to-be-american
Konrad, American Culture and Values.” American Culture and Values – American Creed, https://writingourfuture.nwp.org/americancreed/responses/1297-american-culture-and-values.
The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription. National Archives, United States National Archives and Records Administration, 28 Feb. 2017, https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript