Posted by: N.S. Palmer | July 3, 2018

Why I Love America

I love America for two of the same reasons I love my father.

That fits, since the word “patriotism” comes from the Greek pátrios, meaning “of one’s father.”

The United States is definitely the country of my father. He fought for it in war and lived for it in peace. He was a physician, educator, writer, lecturer, and civic leader. He would have run as a candidate for the U.S. Senate, but my mother wisely refused to allow it. He was too honest to be a politician, and too frank to get elected in the first place.

But he wasn’t a perfect person. That leads to the second reason I love him — and America.

Like all people, including you and I, my father had flaws. He was a child of his time. He absorbed its prejudices. He sometimes made mistakes.

But I don’t love him for his flaws. I love him for what he did about his flaws.

If he thought that he’d been unfair or had done something wrong, he would move Heaven and Earth to correct the situation. Just like our country does.

America and Americans aren’t perfect. We have flaws. But when we think we’ve been unfair or have done something wrong, we start working to correct it.

That’s the true greatness of America. In spite of our flaws, we are a humble, conscientious, and generous people who try to do the right thing. We’re not perfect — that’s impossible — but we’re always trying to do better. Sometimes, we get played for suckers. But we don’t give up. We keep trying to do better.

Compared to an impossible standard of utopian perfection, you can find all kinds of things wrong with America. And lots of people do.

Compared to other real countries that suffer injustice Americans can’t even imagine, the United States always has been and still is one of the greatest countries in human history.

We don’t always get it right the first time. But if we don’t get it right, we fix it. And we move forward.

That’s America.That’s my father. And that’s why I love both of them.

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