Ask Adam League

Imperfect Thought:

When you remember someone, particularly someone in your life who meant anything at all, you can recall traits about that person. These are things that are particular to them that you might see in others. No one else has all those traits of that person. Maybe it’s the simple things like how they brushed their hair and smiled. Perhaps it’s a laugh and an insightful speech they give from time to time. Regardless of what it is, these details make the characteristics of those we love. Those we know.

These traits are unique to each person. Someone might do them similarly, but each individual has a particularly unique take on how they handle these traits. Many people aren’t necessarily aware they have these traits. The goofy laugh of an amicable uncle isn’t something he may be aware of. Having these remarkable traits does not mean one is cognizant of them. It simply means that when one takes a step back, they are recognized by others.

Traits like these are what keep people who they are. When you remove these traits, a person ceases to be. This isn’t to say that their physical body goes away. It is simply to say that that entity which existed isn’t any longer with us. Drugs can do this to people, divorces, all sorts of events in a lifetime can cause these changes in traits which will remove the little details on ones life, effectively making them “non-existent”.

The same goes for all forms of bodies. In as much as people have specific traits which are their own, so too do countries. My country, the United States, had at a time some outstanding traits. These are things which not only Americans loved, but parts of the world as well. When observed from the outside, removing all jealousy and want, traits the US once held were sought by others. We were considered wealthy. Educated. We were sought by those who were oppressed in their countries as a means for a better life. Taking those who were willing to assimilate into our culture. These individuals would leave behind the negative traits of their struggling and oppressive nations and take up allegiance to our country in hopes to make their life, and the lives of their new neighbors, better.

These traits, I fear, are gone. Sure, we have people coming to our country, we have wealthy individuals, and we have some who are educated, but as a whole we do not hold these traits. Those who come to our country do not throw their previous allegiances. They choose to walk all over us and our neighbors, inserting themselves like a cancer. A parasite who does not give back wholly to their surrounding culture. Those who are considered Wealthy are fewer than before and have not been given the incentive to work with their neighbors and raise up those around them. And the educated. Those people in our country who believe they are educated couldn’t be further from it. Our school systems treat people like symptoms, and do not attempt to cure their ignorance.

Our country was once great, and recent enough for most to remember. Much like our loved ones we were not perfect. We had, and currently have, our problems. For whatever reason, however, we have chosen to only remember these traits. How poorly we have treated people of different ethnicities. And yet it is our means of equality which is studied around the world. How ignorant our religious acceptance has been. Yet our citizens (remember this word) have been the most generous throughout the world. How oppressive our system of government is. Is it not our Armed Forces which are called upon in times of strife for the last century?

I will never forget how our country was great. Imperfect as we are, we were beautiful once. In some ways we have a dwindling light which might one day be resparked. For that to happen we have to look towards our greatest moments and attempt to rekindle them. Understand then and recreate them. A deeply seeded fear I hold within my being is that while today I remember how great we are, tomorrow, when I wake, we can no longer attain these moments of greatness we once had. Our spark is gone. The traits we were sought for and adored for and, yes, sometimes hated for, are no more.

Remember, of all the traits, fairness and equality were supreme. Arrogantly we can perceive we weren’t fair and equality meant nothing. I invite you to rethink what you know of fairness and equality. Understand that these traits do not mean “everyone has the same” but instead “equal potential given equal ability.” I hope some day we can become great as we once were. I hope one day America isn’t a far off notion of a place that once existed but is merely a memory of something that existed long ago. The traits that make us strong as individuals also make us strong as a whole. Better traits mean better people. Better people make a better country. Don’t let us fade away.


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