What Happened to “Americans”?

The “AMERICAN” I grew up with has disappeared. As a military serviceman, I was an “AMERICAN,” serving and protecting other “AMERICANS.” I took great pride in doing so. Today, I’m sad to report the demise of those “AMERICANS.” They have become an endangered species moving rapidly toward a state of total extinction. WE can reverse that dangerously negative trend, and I’m suggesting we begin doing so immediately. Let me explain.

Merriam-Webster defines “American” as “a native or inhabitant of North America or South America.” It is also defined as “a citizen of the United States,” which is the definition used in this article.

Due to my extensive travel schedule, I find myself doing a lot of my computer work very late at night. In doing so, I usually keep the television on, tuned into one of the many news channels, as a multitasking effort to keep me awake as I compute and keep up to date on what’s going on in the world. I learn a lot by listening to, watching, and reading the news. I’m growing tired of what I’ve learned the past few years. For instance, I have learned that we have lost trillions of dollars in Iraq, and I learned who’s at fault. A conservative television station clarified exactly why the liberals are totally at fault. It made sense to me. Then I turned to a liberal station and learned how the conservatives engineered the entire operation. That, too, made sense to me. The list goes on and on. Who’s responsible for the poor and/or lack of response to Katrina? Gas prices? Immigration? Global warming? Lack of health care? Infrastructure collapse? Growing taxes? Rising prices? Poor quality? Trade imbalance? Who’s truly at fault? Republicans or Democrats? Conservatives or Liberals? Bulls or Bears? Pro-life or Pro-choice? Hawks or Doves? Male or Female? Rich or Poor? Boomers or Busters? Catholic or Protestants? I obviously have no clue.

I do know this. “AMERICANS” die in wars. “AMERICANS” suffered from Katrina. “AMERICANS” are paying higher prices for everything. And, as I look back over the years, it’s so very obvious that our greatest accomplishments occurred when we came together as “AMERICANS.” We cured diseases, we won wars, we landed on the moon, we overcame tremendous odds, we solved problems, we created the world’s greatest products and services, we won the respect of the world, and we did it as “AMERICANS.” We didn’t accomplish any of these things as members of the many categories listed above. We’ve always been at our best when we came together as “AMERICANS.” Have we forgotten this valuable lesson? Can we afford to forget it? It’s time we returned to the valued status of “AMERICANS.”

I recently received the following piece from a friend. It was written by my all-time favorite author, “Anonymous,” and it reminded me that those serving our country all over the world, defending our way of life, and doing it proudly are doing so as “AMERICANS.” This is a fact that we should be thankful for, should be appreciating daily, and should be explaining to our children and grandchildren as we strive to regain that treasured status as “AMERICANS.”

Here’s another thought. If you know any of these true “AMERICANS,” take a moment out of your busy day and send them a note of thanks and appreciation. If you don’t know anyone serving our country abroad, contact any one of the following sites to learn more about sending e-mails, letters, gifts, etc. to members of the military all over the world. What a fantastic family project! What a great tradition to pass on to future generations. A few moments out of your busy day can make all the difference in the world to a brave, lonely “AMERICAN” on the other side of the world. No politics, no issues … just thanks and appreciation from one “AMERICAN” to another. Do it today and urge others to do the same.

For those who fight on distant shore,
Who give without a word;
Defending us with honor,
So gallantly they serve.

For every boy who leaves his home,
Returning here a man;
And every woman who made a choice,
To make serving part of her plan.

For every fallen soldier,
Who gave all they could give;
To guarantee our liberty,
And the freedom that we live.

Each one who served with honor,
The brave, the tried, the true;
America gives its thanks today,
For we see a hero in you.

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About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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