Author, Novelist, Writer, & Public Speaker

Uncle Sam’s Ego

July 4, 2014

I am an American. What does that mean? The world holds very different views and opinions on this subject. To some being an American describes a self-involved and absorbed mindset. Walk around any of our major cities and watch folks pass. You would be hard-pressed to disagree with that view. To others American means privileged. Sure, it is the Land of Opportunity, so privileged indeed. I see nothing wrong with our privileged lifestyle as long as we do not take it for granted, embracing our gifts and giving of our haves to the have nots.

Let’s take Independence. Our battle cry echoing through the centuries, slowly fading as all points do. Much like American, what does independence mean? Self-sufficiency? Once, yes, but no longer. Our measure of privilege has gone beyond that scope of possibility. If America was to test that famous Independence once more she would collapse. We are dependent upon other nations for our privileged lifestyles. We need them and they need us – Independence bred co-dependence. We look down on the violence and depredations of the third-world, but the thing is those hardy souls are survivors. They would last after our collapse. It would not be pretty, to be sure, but how many Americans have that edge? Could you survive on the gallon or two of potable water most third-world  families have for consumption on a daily basis?

What we were and what we are never remains the same. Americans were a cantankerous bunch of disenfranchised souls – survivors. Now we are the very dandies we once raged against dependent on others for our privileges. We litigate, subjugate, retaliate, aggravate, and violate our pasts.

I am an American. I am a survivor. On this, our Independence Day, I would ask you to reflect upon what that means to you…be you of my nationality or not.

~Nick Shamhart

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