On this planet, any sort of innovation comes with risk. Risk is minimized by repeating the tried and true, but it takes boldness to try something brand new. Those types of experiments of innovation are the greatest risk of all, but also lead to the greatest success.
America is the greatest of these experiments.
While principles of governance that help guide America have been discussed and utilized in other countries or empires, nothing like this country had ever been attempted before, and nothing like it exists to this day. The idea that people should be free, that they should have the right to establish their own governance, is astounding.
George Washington once stated, “The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”
Much to gain. Much to lose.
There has certainly been much darkness, much error in the history of America. We have watched fellow humans wear chains, seen political corruption that is astounding, become fearful of others based on something as arbitrary as the color of their skin. We have overstepped our bounds and ruined other countries, seen the government grow beyond the binding of the Constitution.
Yet, America still emerges as a glowing beacon of freedom for the rest of the world. We are where liberty dwells, where the right of a person to think for themselves is not infringed by government, and where we will rise victorious or go down fighting if government attempts to remove such a right.
We are a diverse nation. It doesn’t make sense that so many cultures, ethnicities, and walks of life should be able to coexist in one nation, and it doesn’t always occur smoothly, but we are still able to look across the land and state that we are a blended country, one where no two families are exactly the same.
In this land, the individual is free to chase their dreams, think great thoughts, and know that their government is restricted to serve the people. Thomas Paine once commented, “When the government fears the people, it is liberty. When the people fear the government, it is tyranny.”
Reading the thoughts of our Founding Fathers always brings tears to my eyes. They couldn’t see the future of this country. They just considered the idea of a government by the people, for the people a great enough experiment for which to risk life and limb.
They couldn’t see the great failures that were to come, nor could they see the great successes.
They couldn’t see that government would immediately start to overstep its bounds, but they knew human hearts well enough to caution against such overstepping.
They couldn’t see that America would become the land of the free, home of the brave.
They didn’t know that America would be the greatest experiment of innovation the world has ever seen, but if they could see our country today, I think that they would realize that every bit of their risk was worth it.
America truly is the greatest country in the history of the world, and being an American is something for which to be grateful.