I wrote this op-ed to show that we have to keep working to make the USA a better nation

Is America really the Land of Opportunity? I believe that an American is someone that strives to make their life better each day. To be an American is to honor and respect America. In the film, American Creed, said by Professor of Political Science at Stanford, Condoleezza Rice, “America is an aspirational nation”.

One way to honor and respect America is accepting diversity whether physical or political. Mark Meckler and Joan Blades had two different political points of view. Joan wanted to create an organization called Living Room Conversations so that people could share their perspective of politics to someone of a different political view. With these conversations Meckler and Blade were able to find many interests and ideas they had in common despite each others different political perspectives. This shows that just because someone has a different perspective as you doesn’t mean that person doesn’t agree with everything the other person says. As Joan Blades said “ They’re just really asking people to listen to each other, to see if there is some common ground.” 

Another way to honor and respect America is accepting one another or believing in equality. Eric Liu is accepting others because he helps immigrants become legal citizens of America. Eric Liu, founder of Citizen University says “ What holds us together is a creed, and that creed to me, is not just a bunch of legalistic principles.” It means that the paper or document doesn’t define if a person is American or not, but if people treat others, as if they are American, and they are a citizen, treating immigrants equally, and accepting them, in a way you would indefinitely being respecting America by looking beyond the political belief or the color of skin, but honoring and respecting the power within.

If education is key to success, that means someone with an education is striving to make their life better each day, that is being an American. Condoleezza Rice says, “ A country where access to education can change everything.” This means that with knowing a little can still help you a lot. It can change your life from where you thought you were, to where you can go, or you are going. Education will make you smarter and more knowledgeable to make your life better each and every day you learn. Resident of Dumas, Arkansas Stepfan Hollinshed says, “ What’s supposed to make this country great, those are the things that over the years have been torn down.” This means that all the things that are suppose to make America and the people in it better, are going away and are becoming lost throughout the years. If we, as a country strive for success to make this country a success in general, for years to come America should and would do just fine.

The definition of being American should not be a definition from a dictionary, because being American is so much more than a few words on a paper on a book. When I looked up what an American was the first thing that popped up was a definition, when what it should have said was, can one really define what a true American because everyone has their own opinion, and there’s never really a wrong answer, but a simple one. That is allowing this topic to be summed up in only a few words, when you can never sum up a topic like this one.

To be an American is to respect and honor this country. To be American is to strive each and everyday to make it better than the one before. As Condoleezza Rice said “ America is an aspirational nation”, and it is up to us as citizens to keep it that way. Always remember that when someone asks you what it truly means to be an American, is that there are never any wrong answers, but only simple ones.




Classen School of Advanced Studies Classen SAS 8th Grade English 2018

An arts and IB magnet school in the heart of Oklahoma City.

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