America, I want to start off by saying that I love you. This country has given me endless opportunities and freedoms that I will never take for granted. Over the past year, I have learned several things about America, good and bad:
1. We come together in times of tragedy.
Through the level 5 hurricanes, the shootings, and all of the national tragedies, we come together in peace to show love and support for our fellow Americans. We make many generous donations and say many prayers to show our support for the victims and their families.
2. We're trying to taking God out of everything.
Although you have religious freedom and the right to believe in whatever you want, this country was in fact, built on Christianity. People who do not identify themselves as Christians are often offended by the use of God, such as the phrase "One nation, under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, which was written by a minister, or Christmas decorations in local malls or stores.
Our founding documents have God instated in them. In the Declaration of Independence, there are four references to God. "In God, We Trust" is even written on our dollar bill.
3. Today's generation is more encouraging than ever.
Millennials today stress the importance of creativity. We make time for brainstorming. We are supportive of one another. We tolerate mistakes, but also stress the importance of learning from them. We encourage one another to do better and to work harder. It's more about teamwork than it is the individual.
4. According to many, voting for Trump makes you a racist.
I cannot speak for every person who voted for Hillary Clinton, but I was shocked at the number of Facebook posts and tweets that said "unfriend me if you voted for Donald Trump because he is racist and full of hate" or "I have lost all respect for you if you voted for Trump" or "if you voted for Donald Trump you are either a racist or a racist in denial."
Wow, America. So, if you voted for Hilary that means you are a liar and a criminal? No, it doesn't work like that. We all have our reasons for voting one party or another, but to sit here and tell me that I am a racist because I voted for the Republican and conservative platform is insulting and flat out wrong.
5. We can't agree to disagree.
It makes me sad to see how rare it is to watch two people sit down and have a political conversation and simply agree to disagree and move on. Our political opinions are just that; opinions. We have turned into people that don't want to listen or try to understand the other side's point of view, and it becomes a matter of right or wrong rather than opinion.
6. Despite each others' differences, we are fortunate enough to have the freedom to disagree.
As frustrating as we can make each other, what a beautiful thing it is to have the freedom to disagree. Many countries face severe punishments for speaking out against their leader or disagreeing with the majority, but Americans have that privilege to say how they feel and to stand up for themselves.
7. Police officers are often perceived as evil.
The media has exploded over the past few years with stories of the police brutality against people of color. It is a fact that a small handful police officers have unfairly treated certain people, and you cannot deny this, as there are videos to prove it. But please, do not let the media manipulate you into thinking that all police officers are bad.
What the media shows you is an extremely small percentage of officers who act out of line. Hearing people of all races say "F*** the police" saddens me because imagine this country without law enforcement there to protect you. Imagine this country without someone there arrest the person who broke into your house, raped an innocent young girl, or robbed a bank. Who are you going to call without them?
8. We are the most diverse country in the world.
How amazing is it that you can walk into your school and see all different sorts of people? We are not only diverse in race and ethnic backgrounds, but there is diversity in our ideas as well. To me, this is one of the greatest things about America. Each individual has their own set of ideas that they bring to the table to better the nation.
9. We are easily offended.
Unfortunately, this country is turning into a nation that tries to please everyone. We always have to be politically correct so we do not hurt anyone's feeling. We want to take down statues of Robert E. Lee, we want to be paid $15 an hour for working at McDonald's, and we want to change the mascot for the NFL Washington Redskins. Everything hurts our feelings.
10. America is the greatest nation in the world.
Does our country have its flaws? Absolutely. But, we have the most advanced and strongest military in the world, we are free, we were the first to land on the moon, we have good food, good people, and accept everyone.