American Phrase Friday

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“The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.”

-Alexis de Tocqueville

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American Line Dancing

Quite a few people, (myself included) tend to think that our nation doesn’t have much…..culture, if you know what I mean. Sadly, most of the indigenous cultures were ignored as we plowed through America, and we’re too young to have anything that makes people say, “That’s America. That’s her.”

Except we do. I was talking with my parents yesterday, and the conversation drifted to line dancing. It’s uniquely, 100% American. Not because we’re the only country that does it, although that part’s true, but it reflects us. Think about it! America is build on team work, on every person helping the other. In line dancing, you can do it by yourself, but it doesn’t look as good. Yeah, we can do all of our amazing things on our own, but we all know that it doesn’t work that well.

In line dancing, every one is doing the same thing. The same thing. That’s it. But it looks so cool! And it’s because all the dancers are working together, because none of them are clamming the spotlight. Line dancing is American, not only in where it’s preformed, but what it is.

Learning in the U.S.

636096913775397104-1736597709_learningI work at a library. One of the parts of this job is processing, or getting books ready to be checked out. Recently I was working on a decent sized student encyclopedia. It had everything in it. Trains? Got you covered. What about ancient Rome? No problem. Or what about something a little more random, like hot air balloons? Check! And then I realized yet another wonderful thing about American culture.

We LOVE teaching! For illustration: I went through a phase where I wanted to go into script writing. I am by no means a movie nerd, and I didn’t know a single thing about what went into making a movie, so I looked it up. Everything I could want to learn was right there at my fingertips. It didn’t matter that I was fifteen and couldn’t tell you the first thing about how script submissions worked, I found what I needed. I found what I needed because someone took the time to write about what they know, and to do it in such a way that I, with my limited experience, could understand. You know what? I can tell you how script submissions work now. Because someone wanted to teach what they know to a stranger.

People in America are always making it easier for the next generation to learn something. We’re…. what…. the twentieth generation of Americans? That means that we have twenty stinkn’ generations of people who have been teaching us to stand on. And now that we have things like Google, we can find all that information in an instant!

In America, it’s very, very easy to learn something. Anything. Anything you want. Our predecessors want to teach us, books about history and science are screaming to be read, things that took America hundreds of years to find out you can learn in a free, five minute lecture from YouTube. The sky is the limit for Generation Z, let’s see if we can push past the horizon!

Olympic America

 

opening-ceremony-team-usaWell, here we are. We are on the other side of the 2018 Winter Olympics. To be completely honest, I couldn’t watch all of it, so I won’t be able to reference all those ‘rewind’ moments, but we don’t even need to have watched them to know what they mean.

This year America had the biggest team ever to attend the Winter Olympic Games. 244 men and woman walked around the Olympic torch, waving our flag, and representing our nation. They were our best, and they are living proof of the American Dream. They were made of people who had fought to be there, to prove they were the best in the world. They earned every moment, every flip, every slide, every pirouette, every breath of being there. Everyone knows about Shaun White. His injury, his amazing comeback. Red Gerrard made bars and ramps with scraps in his backyard.  Lindsey Vonn learned how to ski in a cow pasture.

This is what America is; this is who we are! We are fighters. We see a goal, and we run to it, no matter what. It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks about us, or our dreams, we can show them what we are made of. Our Founding Fathers knew that, if they signed the Declaration of Independence, the British would kill them the first chance they got. No one had broken from the Empire before, no one wanted to help the first Americans. So we said, “Alright, we’ll win anyway.” We rolled up our sleeves, polished our squirrel guns, and went to fight a war everyone told us we couldn’t win. Look where we are now.

Every single one of us has that ability, that ability to wear gold on your chest after the world told you, “You’re crazy for even trying.” We try. We fall. We try again. We fall again. We don’t stop trying.

Then we win. We wear gold, we pledge allegiance to our flag. A flag everyone said was impossible. Look where we are now and look what we’ve done despite the world saying, “No.” What else can we do? What else can we do to show the world who we are? Let’s push our limits again and show them. Again.

American Phrase Friday

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These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

-Thomas Paine