I believe in America.
That is to say, I believe in what America means to me. I am grateful to have been born in a country which offers me to the potential to be better than I am. To be what I truly believe America represents. The Christian phrase “shining city on a hill” has been used to describe our wonderful country. For me, that phrase conjures up images of this place where we should all aspire to be. It is a place that we hope to reach.
Our country offers a better promise for tomorrow than our past failings would suggest. I aspire to be a better man. A better husband, a better father, a better person in this world. I hope that you… that we… join together in the aspiration to reach the promise of our potential. To become, in fact, that shining city on a hill.
As a father I tend to think in terms of lessons. If I disappeared from the earth tomorrow, what is the lesson which I hope my sons would carry with them throughout their days? I would suggest that, as a parent, you should have a single declaration or question to define yourself. For me, I want my sons to ask themselves this question:
“Will the things I do make this world a better place – or a worse one?”
That’s it. It really is that simple. A positive answer to that question is all it that takes to put yourself in the column of “Good Guys”.
I appreciate my own diverse world view. I am a proud US Air Force veteran. I believe in defending our Constitution and the county which it defines. At the same time, I tend to be more liberal in social issues than many of my comrades-in-arms. I am a rabid free speech advocate. I think America is stronger for our embrace of immigrant peoples and beliefs. I do not believe that homogeneity makes us a stronger people.
I believe in inclusive behaviors.
I believe in diversity.
I understand, though, my friends who worry that the country which they are accustomed to is changing. I can understand the perspective which asks, “Why do these very small groups have to force their perspectives on the rest of us?” If you belong to the larger group, it’s an understandable question to ask why we have to change things. Why we have to accept things we’ve never seen before?
So to my friends who think that way, I ask you this: can you envision a society in which you are NOT represented – not your color, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or ethnicity? From there, can you imagine how much you would welcome a message which includes you – rather than excludes you? What is it worth to see YOU presented in a way with which you identify? Not in a caricature or villain’s role – but simply a message that says, “You – hey you! We see you. You are a part of us! We are one people. And we can be so much better together than we have been separately!”
In that spirit, please share with me the happiness of seeing much more of our wondrous diversity represented in this beautiful commercial. I hope that it makes you smile as it did me. Does love ever make the world a worse place?
Will the things you do make this world a better place – or a worse one?