Meaning to be American
What does it mean to be American? What are some of the core values most Americans have? Is America one culture? One people? What holds us all together? How has the story of equality been impacted by these core American beliefs?
What does it mean to be American?
Meaning to be American means that an individual is willing to adhere to the set values and ideals in the country. For one to be American, he or she does not have to be of any specific nationality, race, ethnic group, religion, or language group (Martinez). As long as one is willing to show commitment to the values and ideals, he or she qualifies to be American. The ideological American character, therefore, welcomes anyone to be American as long as they are willing to be.
What are some of the core values most Americans have? Is America one culture? One people?
Americans are very idealistic people and have set up some standards that they believe in and usually live up to them (Burns and Littrell 14). The values include:
Liberty: Americans believe that everyone should be free to speak, think, and act provided that they do not violate the rights and freedoms of other people.
Equality: The value proclaims that all people should be treated fairly and be given equal access to education healthcare and political involvement.
Individualism: Americans believe in self-sufficiency and independence. Everyone must be given an opportunity to control their own lives and make decisions.
Progress and change: Americans believe in transforming their lives and country.
America is made up of multiple cultures. Although western culture is dominant in the nation, other cultures are also represented. The cultures include the African culture and Asian culture. American ideals and values unite Americans to be one people. Different cultures encourage diversity in the country.
What holds us all together? How has the story of equality been impacted by these core American beliefs?
All the Americans are held together by the desire to experience the American experiment. Despite the differences that we hold, we all devote our lives to live in America. People from different backgrounds desire to live in America. The desire unifies us as one. The core values reinforce equality in the United States. Independence, for instance, allows all Americans to make decisions on themselves without hindrance. The commitment and adherence to the core values is the main basis of equality in America.
Burns, Caroline and Frederick Romie Littrell. “Measuring Mainstream US Cultural Values.” Journal of Business Ethics 20.2 (2013): 1-20.
Martinez, Vicente. What Does It Mean to “Be American”? 2019. 6 June 2020. <https://www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/my-part-story/what-does-it-mean-be-american>.