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Monday, November 8, 2010

WHAT IS "RIGHT" WITH AMERICA?

Now that we have survived the elections, where we were incessantly told what is wrong with America, perhaps it is time to reflect on what is right with it. I realize there are still hard feelings on both sides of the political spectrum, but we should shake it off and begin by thanking God we had a peaceful transition and not a bloody military coup like some countries experience. It proves the system works. We have had more than enough scurrilous rhetoric which shows how embarrassingly barbaric we can become, let's try something more positive instead.

Many people see our cultural diversity as our weakness, particularly our opponents. Actually, it is our strength. First, it proves people of all religious, ethnic and racial types can live and work together. We may have disagreements because of our cultural backgrounds but it also brings a lot of ideas and innovations to the table. It is remarkable to see people of diversity work together be it in the classroom, playing field, workplace, or to defend their country. Frankly, this mystifies our enemies.

One American trait that is often overlooked or taken for granted is our philanthropy. When havoc strikes, people look to the United States first for help. We are generous to a fault and I believe this is again due to our cultural diversity. Not only do we contribute with our pocketbooks, but with our hearts and hands. How many times have you seen Americans drop what they are doing and rush to the aid of someone else? It is in our DNA. In 2010 alone we made substantial contributions in the Chilean miner rescue, the Haitian earthquake disaster, as well as the earthquake in Peru; all of this while we simultaneously cleaned up after the Gulf coast oil spill, and continued to fight the War on Terrorism.

We are a country with plenty of natural and man-made resources. Some would say we foolishly waste our resources, and they may very well be right. Our record for waste and pollution is well known, but so is our ability to overcome such problems and do what is right, not just for the United States, but the world overall.

We have some of the most intelligent, energetic, and creative people on the planet. Why? Because our free enterprise system encourages people to take risks, express themselves, and encourages innovation and exploration.

It all comes down to the U.S. Constitution, a brilliant document which defines how we are governed. Without this document, God knows where this country would be. In all likelihood, there would be no "checks and balances," there would be no individual liberties, and no sense of empowerment in its citizens. Consequently, we would probably not be as philanthropic as we have been, nor would we be the defenders of freedom in the world.

As a country, we are certainly not perfect. For example, we are much too reactive as opposed to proactive for my liking; we still struggle between social classes, and; we are too tolerant of injustice, not to mention our social graces are lacking. Regardless, I have seen a lot of systems in other countries, and we look pretty darn good when you compare us to others.

What is right with America? Our freedoms and liberties, our people, and our system, thanks in large part to a little piece of paper called the U.S. Constitution. This is why all of us, not just our officials, must always be vigilant to preserve, protect and defend it.

Now if we could just do something about common sense...

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

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