Our country has made a habit of taking for granted the opportunities we have as Americans. We are growing further and further away from each other and we need something to hold us together. We can start with appreciating what we have as Americans.

Some of us take being an American for granted. There is so much that goes into being an American. Many people before us fought for our rights as an American and we are being very arrogant if we don’t appreciate that. As an American you have the freedoms to be what you want to be and live how you want to live. It’s on you to make the most out of the knowledge you have acquired throughout your life. This is why education is so important in our country, you can steer yourself in your own direction with the knowledge you have learned throughout school and throughout your life. As an American diplomat and main contributor to the film American Creed, Condoleezza Rice explains an ideal that we have as Americans, “It doesn’t matter where you came from, it matters where you are going.” This is an ideal our country was built on, we wanted equal opportunity for everyone. Everyone has the chance to make something of themselves, no matter where they’ve come from.

The problem is, we take being an American for granted. Many people in America get caught up in everyday life and don’t ever take the time to appreciate what they have. In American Creed, Rice explains this very well. She says, “We’re coming apart, we’re not civil to one another, our political system is polarized.” We constantly look for ways to separate us from one another instead of coming to together as a whole. We are stronger together than we are apart and we need to bond together with one common goal.

There are other people that see this happening in our society as well. Former Marine veteran Tegan Griffith explains her view on a talk show called, Conversations with Jeff Weeks. She says, “We generally feel disconnected from each other. I’m not sure if social media is to blame, our screens are to blame, or just extreme political opposition in different parties.” The problem is we look for ways to disconnect from one another instead of looking for similar. Terrance Davenport in the same talk show says, “We are very good at turning a blind eye to the really important issue.” This issue is a very important and an ever growing one in our country. Unfortunately we look the other way and stray away from what is right in front of our faces.

Rice says, “We have to understand what the common enterprise is, we have to understand what the common aspiration is. And I think we’ve lost sight of it.” Everyone needs help at some point or another and that is not a bad thing. It is hard to get that help in the world we live in now. Our world is filled with selfishness and misdirected people. We are all in this together and should not be separating ourselves from one another. Another speaker in the film American Creed, American historian David M. Kennedy says, “The promise of this society is not always fulfilled. Among the things we need to pay attention to is the gap between the promise and the reality, and why it is that our fellow citizens have not, can not, do not, maybe will not ever realize what I will unapologetically call the promise of America.” Many of us have this future in our heads that is just perfect. Unfortunately nothing is ever perfect, there is always a catch. We need to learn to appreciate what we have and learn to deal with the cards we’ve been dealt. Appreciate the fact that you are American and you can change things to an extent. 




Columbus High School American Creed - Continuing the Conversation

This group consists of student responses to the American Creed documentary from PBS and Citizen Film.

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