Part I: Sweet Apple Pie – Happy 237th Birthday America
I remember reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in school. My favorite line is, “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
America, on your birthday, I remember that over two centuries ago, brave men gathered to write the Declaration of Independence. I am grateful for that document because it inspired our United States Constitution. A document used in many facets of life to right many wrongs, and some will say, to uphold some. Each time our Supreme Court releases its decision in a landmark case, I am reminded of how fragile and yet powerful a document it is.
I appreciate that document more when I see mass demonstrations for freedom, like the one in Egypt that ousted its president. As President John F. Kennedy said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
So each year on your birthday, I look back on our history. And while we have come from a humble beginning, I know we have a ways to go, before we achieve our founders’ goal of being the United States of America.
But America, I can’t blame you. I blame our citizens for holding us back. Too often, we point blame at everything and everyone, but ourselves. Yet it is us the citizen, that send representatives to elected office. The divisions over race, women’s rights, same-sex marriage, fair pay, education and health care funding are easy to repair, if we let go of our bitterness and division and sit at the table to enjoy some sweet apple pie.
Division seems to go away, when we are attacked, or a natural disaster hits our states. They go away every four years, when we cheer on our athletes of different races and religions representing America at the Olympics. But they appear so quickly when elected officials and the media use talking points to divide. Unfortunately, it is too easy to divert our attention from the idea of getting to the table, to have some of your sweet apple pie.
Instead, we focus on what we cannot do, not what we can do. We pay too much attention on what the rich or the poor are getting. Like a child saying his piece is bigger than mine! He got more than me. We focus on what community got the bigger share of the pie. Trivial issues get our attention like George Zimmerman, the N-word, Housewives or the Kardashians. In these moments, we forget about our own problems.
We spend more time watching the television, making others wealthy, sending them our share of the pie. Too much time talking about who got what, or what someone else did with their share, instead of pursuing our own happiness, instead of getting our share of sweet apple pie. Before we realize it, someone else has taken our place at the table and eating sweet apple pie.
As a business owner, I have ups and downs. Every day is a grind, a race to get my piece of the pie. To get it, I have to run faster, get up earlier, last longer than others trying to get their piece. That’s what America is about. It is the American story.
That pie is why so many come from other countries. From their shores they smell that sweet pie, they see it on TV and they want their share. Can you blame them? They see us fighting one another and they see a path for themselves if they can just get here to get their share of the pie. So rather than fighting, we should all be working hard for our share. Instead of sitting at home complaining about politicians, talking about the Kardashians or the Housewives, or pointing fingers at who and what, instead of sitting at home waiting for the government to give whatever crumbs might be left, we should strive to get our share of sweet apple pie.
Next Part II: One Nation Under God – Happy 237th Birthday America