What it Means to be Americans Essay Example
Have you ever thought about what does it mean to be a citizen of the “land of the free and the home of the brave”? Lots of people have tried determining features of character or manner of behavior that would describe a typical citizen of the USA but it is not that easy. The question is whether the culture and nation affiliations depend on the birthplace or the way residents treat their Homeland. Some historians state that you do not need to have specific political, religious views, have ethnic roots or use English as a mother tongue to be called an American. The idea of this nationality is enrooted much deeper than those exterior factors. Being the resident of the United States means you stick to the ideas and values of this country: freedom of speech and tolerance to the variety of views. A President Theodore Roosevelt once said “I am an American; free born and free bred.” This explains a lot because the citizens of the USA appreciate their values most of all.
The freedom of speech is one of the most specifying features related to what being American means. Lots of people around the world who have never visited the USA may have stereotypes that residents from this country are forthright, and this makes them sometimes self-centered or rude. However, these misconceptions can be easily debunked if we dig deeper and find positive aspects of being open to communication. When you say something straight, there is less likelihood that you will be misunderstood. In most situations when people try to hide their genuine opinion, it becomes impossible to improve the situations or find solutions: the problem and conflicts remain unsolved. The residents of the USA are not used to lie or use evasive responses to direct questions. It helps them state their viewpoint openly and clearly. The freedom of speech is significant for citizens of the United States because this value is even protected by the constitution and the law. The residents of America have the right to express their opinion either in everyday life or via social networks, media, and nobody will ever judge them. Looking more in-depth at the history of this country, it becomes obvious that the government is obliged to protect the freedom of speech because there are many different nationalities living in this huge territory. Unless they had the opportunity to feel free, there would be a lot of conflicts.
Diversity is the following indispensable part of the features related to characterizing American life. It goes without saying that there is no similar place on Earth where you can find many different people on the streets of New York or any other city. For this reason, the USA is often called the melting pot. The evidence of such a big amount of nationalities, races, religions makes it difficult to define the answer to the question “What does it mean to be an American.” Many people due to immigration reform and rules travel to America and consider this place to be their home. It means that for being a true resident of the United States you do not have to be born there, it is the values which you bear and which gives you spiritual nationality. Even the Great Seal of this country proves that their motto is “From many, one.” It means that the USA is a country which appreciates tolerance. It is that country which is ready to accept anyone to the family of true Americans if those people appreciate the opinions of others.
Equality is another significant feature of people living in America. We all remember that magnificent speech by Martin Luther King “I have a dream.” Although it was not that long ago, the government heard the voice of its nation, and now America is perceived to be the place where equality of rights is much protected. Race, gender, level of intelligence, hobbies, and many other instances of prejudicial treatment are becoming less evident in the USA. And it is no wonder because both freedom of speech and appreciation of diversity foster the high level of equality for everyone.
When your individuality is respected, it means that you can feel free and that you have the sense that each individual is protected; these notions are often connected with the personal as well as national independence. The Fourth of July is a world-known date which is associated with joy, happiness, celebration. The Independence Day of America is saluted all over the cities because this event is even more connected with personal independence. Each of the United States citizens is free from bias because the rights are equal for all citizens, they are free from a lie because the freedom of speech gives them the opportunity to speak up their mind truly, and they have genuine liberty because America is the place where Dreams come true.
To sum up, the fact that being a citizen of America and what it takes to become an American is nothing more than just respecting the rules, values, and traditions of this country. Sometimes even individuals who were not born in the United States can behave more like an American than the one who has always lived there. Freedom, justice, liberty, diversity, equality are the basic elements of main priorities. If you feel that the values which are appreciated in the USA are very close to your worldview, it means that this place is right for you!