From birth, Americans' uniqueness is significantly influenced by their families and surrounding communities. Americans draw their pride and core values from the complex history of their ancestors who fought prejudice so their descendants could exercise the extensive freedoms and privileges available today. My American Creed is uniqueness and how the ability to learn, understand, and honor the uniqueness in our backgrounds and perspectives is what allows us to continue to thrive.
For example, I can proudly say that I am both Jewish (on my father’s side) and Christian (on my mother’s side). Around every Christian holiday is an equally important Jewish one that I can celebrate with as much pride as the other. Being an American has allowed me the right to practice any and all religions I want while exercising any practices (within reason) connected to them. Without restriction, I can offer the world my own personal experiences connected with these religions, making me unique in my own way.
However, millions of people across hundreds of other countries may not even be able to participate in just one religion they strongly believe in. Millions of people face prejudice and persecution for honoring their religion. Millions of people are imprisoned and killed for speaking out for themselves and their ancestors. Uncoincidentally, the countries with these restrictions also tend to have the most political and social unrest and are far less-developed when it comes to the ideals of democracy.
I take great pride in my background and how it allows me to offer a different view that can change the world as well as influence others to open their minds to various perspectives. I celebrate both Passover and Easter, Christmas and Hanukkah, and so on. I have witnessed the practices common in both Christianity and Judaism and thus have learned a lot about myself and the world around me. Through participating in both of these religions, I am a perfect example of an American; unique.
Being an American allows me to have these experiences and thus be able to be different from others. I am not limited to one point of view. I am not barred from taking part in the various practices that I feel connect me most to my religion. I do not have to hide my heritage or feel shame in the very roots that ground me to this Earth.
Overall, I believe that America is rooted in the virtue of uniqueness, and though we are the United States of America, we all stand as individuals who must come together to share our differences. Our ancestors' differences is what drove this country towards freedom and opportunity in the first place, and it is this uniqueness that continues to enable citizens to have differing viewpoints that they can offer in order to make even more meaningful contributions towards the improvement of America.