We sang the national anthem in church today. We do this every year and it has always made me pause to think, always bothered me just a little.
Today as I sang and I thought, I came to the conclusion that if I was bothered, the problem was me.
I suppose I was bothered by the idea that being American makes me better than anyone else; it does not.
I know plenty of Americans who are very likely worse people than any third world dictator. I’m sure that I could easily find people of greater character than myself in both Palestine and Israel.
I have long looked around at sleazy politicians, crooked cops, and entitled workers complaining that they must in fact earn their living, all the while waving our common flag. I don’t like it.
But I realized today, while I’m sure I have always known it, that these are not what makes America worth singing about, because she is in fact worthy of the songs.
The framework that suffers these aforementioned fools is greater than any of us in that it allows for the possibility of us not remaining fools.
While not always to my satisfaction, bad politicians can be replaced, crooked authorities can be prosecuted, and the entitled can be humbled. Here, despite our ugly past, collective or individual, we can in fact get better. The system was written with the idea that we would become so.
I love that.