There is not one thing I believe more about America, than in its opportunity to change and better itself. A country that has historically been placed on a pedestal, the United States has often failed to be what is stated in its own name-united. I was born during the Bush administration and am now living through Biden’s presidency. I have grown up in a stunted, yet reforming country that tends to have a superiority complex. But, in a country full of people with opinions, with voices, and with a history of their own, I have witnessed a uniting of the people to make a home in the house they have built. With a government moving backwards, the people are what push the country forward into the future. The Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate movements were led by the people, by those minorities but not with them alone. In response to Roe V Wade there were protests, petitions, and a voice to be heard by the Supreme court. Whether or not these facilitate new legislation or a dismantling of systems, it is clear where the majority of citizens stand.
When I was in middle school, at my sister’s soccer game, I witnessed the first real argument I can remember between my mom and my grandma. Right around the time Colin Kaepernick was being noticed for kneeling during the national anthem. This was huge, and stayed in the media for a long time, and created the first scenario where I remember my mom talking about politics, even with the election going on that same year, My grandma found what he did disrespectful. My mom? Not so much. While that is certainly summarizing their statements, it’s an accurate depiction of what they fought about. My mom was a lot more willing to listen to why he had done it, and take the time to understand him and his plea for a peaceful society free of racial and ethnic discrimination. I wonder what the country would be like if more people like my grandma had the perspective of my mom?
Tragedy brings the country together. Unfortunately, throughout our history, that is when the people feel most connected to each other. Perhaps the most famous example is 9/11. A devastation that shook the United States, the people came together in mourning and with a fight on the tips of their fingers. A want to defend each other, to increase security, and make sure the same thing would not happen again. If this same compassion was worn on people’s sleeves everyday, our country would thrive. We should not need tragedy to unite us.
There are a lot of things we can do with our future. A lot of empty pages waiting to be filled in history books. I have hope that they can be occupied with a better America. Made up of protests, petitions, and opinions that create unity through their voices. It is not impossible, we have proved that, but it also isn’t easy. If there was any war ever worth fighting, it’s this one.