Pride in moralistic circles is one of the deadly sins.
Proud to be American is a phrase that denotes one's relationship of trust to a particular political constitution called the United States of America. It is not, thereby, a sin, but it can be fatally deadly when clothed in limiting jingoistic buffoonery!
At 236 years old since 13 colonies in the New World declared independence from British rule, we remain an experiment on republican representation and democratic participation, the two major beats in the rhythm of our political life. The first harkens to the conservative impulse to be cautious, the second grows wild in liberal tendencies to innovate. They are by design in creative tension.
The breadth of America's vision is wide. It is inclusive of all colors of the rainbow, all shades of the prism, and all shapes of the kaleidoscope. America is a celebration of the wisdom of our past as well as a push to the realization of our wildest dreams: to lead where no one has ventured before.
Today marks the continued wrestling with the issues in between where we can say a humble “thanks” to the fife-and-drum of our political ancestors, and a resounding “yes” to the untested dreams of our communal longings. For yesterday is gone, and tomorrow will never come. We are always nestled in the lively contradictions and promises of today.
We shan't fail out of the fear of losing our gains; we prevail because we freely choose to build on the learning of the past and give shape to our intentional responses to the corporate challenges of today, embodying models we prescribe in our individual lives and communities.
The Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands is the youngest member in the federated States that adheres to our covenant of union. We are represented but have limited voting participation in the legislative body of the Union.
Still, our strength comes from knowing what we know and continue learning how to learn. To date, we have latched on to the image of liberation as the theme of our Fourth of July. It is perhaps time that we leave that chapter to the folder of “thanks” and move on to the realm of the broad participation in the exercise of our freedom.
Our freedom can best be applied toward today's challenge of being glocal islands in a new world dispensation. The challenge of eco-democracy at the local community level knocks daily on our doorsteps.
Let us choose to give it form, and let the firework-lit skies accompany our choices.