What Being an American Means for Me

For me being an American means I have the right to freedom, equality, and justice. It’s given me the opportunity to become who I am today with freedom of expression and the right to education. In America I can be independent and know I have the freedom to become who I am in the future.

The core values that have influenced my life including treating everyone with kindness regardless of age, gender, race, religion, and sexuality. Having freedom means I should take advantage of the privileges given to me and serve society the best I can. Relatives have served for me to have the freedom to live on the soil they fought and died for so in order to honor them I must live the best life I can live and be best person I can be. This includes treating everyone equally and fairly, we’re all deserving of respect in America.

I’m going to focus on myself, my family, and my cultural heritage because in order to honor them and myself I must make use of the rights that have been fought for and given to me. By becoming a productive member of society and making use of the unique rights given to me I can live the best life possible in America. Others have not been as fortunate as I have been and haven’t been born into America or given the same opportunities as I have. I want to kind of embody America’s foundations and help everyone I can while also protecting myself and my family. Every human is deserving of their own rights, their own voice. “Being American is making a change, and making good changes. Being American is being welcoming, being caring about other people, being proud of the country. And it’s forgiveness. It’s not holding grudges on anything—I mean, where’s that going to get you? —Natalie Villafranca, 14, Dallas. In our history America has lend a helping hand to other nations. Granted, we’ve been aggressors many times but all in the name for self-preservation. How does one help another without making itself vulnerable; feeding another from behind a shield? We all deserve human rights, civil rights but other countries have not been as successful as us, thus we make ourselves open to extending the helping hand. Our history has been full of us constantly changing-and wanting those changes to be good for others.

Being an American is unique. Being an American means embracing that uniqueness and making use of your own voice and using your rights and freedom of speech to speak your mind. In America you can be your own individual and become who you want to be. America has existed for centuries and in that time, we’ve developed a vast culture-we’re known as the “melting pot nation” for a reason, it’s how we identify and separate ourselves from other countries. As historian Philip Gleason puts it this way, “To be or to become an American, a person did not have to be any particular national, learning languages, religious, or ethnic background. All he had to do was to commit himself to the political ideology centered on the abstract ideals of liberty, equality, and republicanism. Thus the universalist ideological character of American nationality meant that it was open to anyone who willed to become an American.” So while it is special to live in this country and be given the rights we have, any one truly can be one of us. America is open to all because it’s very foundations are built on various cultural backgrounds. Our power comes from our history and the people who have paved the path for us to live the way we live. Ever since the beginning America itself was a revolution, a rebellion, a change from the norm. In that same way, anyone can make a name or start a life for themselves here.

In conclusion, being an American to me means that we have the right to justice, freedom, and equality. It means any and everyone is welcome here, everyone should have the opportunity to live the best possible life. Being an American is unique and we’re privileged to have our own voice and be independent in our ways.

08 December 2022
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