I'm not sure if I can say this is a Millennial thing but for me personally I've never really had a ton of American pride. It’s not that I don’t have pride for other things…I loved to deck out in my school colors and cheer for my team but I’ve never been one to be all “MERICAH!”
I like celebrating the 4th of July. I love BBQ ribs and burgers, a good old fashioned yard game, and fireworks. I like celebrating the 4th of July…but Independence Day not so much. Basically, I enjoy the holiday but probably for all the wrong reasons…my confession to you.
I’m still trying to figure out WHY I’m ambivalent to Independence Day and if my generation has anything to do with it. Here are a couple of theories:
- I’m not a fan of war and we have been in a state of war (or basically a state of war) for most of my life. I’d rather we just live and let live. Now…I’m not totally ignorant and I do understand that the decision to go to war or get involved in another countries beef is not taken lightly and that others have benefited from our efforts. BUT, as a whole I’m not on team war. This theory could partially be my generational optimism speaking, “Why can’t we all just get along and accept each other’s differences?”. Or it could be a young adult thing. The draft sparked a huge uproar in the young adults of the time. They weren’t the first to do so and my generation probably won’t be the last.
- The second theory is that my generation is probably more globally connected than any other generation preceding. By the time we were old enough to be curious about the world, we could find information at the click of a button. We could chat with others from different cultures easily through the internet and visit other countries easily with modern modes of transportation. I’ve personally been to 12 other countries (I’m not just talking airports) and have gained a respect for other cultures that perhaps my parents didn’t have. Maybe that interconnectedness, that understanding of the “other” has made me less prideful of my American-ness and made me want to root for ALL people.
All that said, I’d like to clarify that I'm not ungrateful to have been born in the US. I am grateful for all the things I have and the opportunities that have been given to me. Sometimes I look at other countries and say "dear baby Jesus thank you for our sanitation and water systems"!
As much as I like to complain about the state of our nation I do think that overall we have it pretty good. So. For the day I will put aside my political views and be thankful for what I've got. Sometimes you just have to take pride in where you came from in order to go where you want to go and be who you want to be.
I you are a Millennial and you aren’t feelin’ the warm and fuzzys from our “great land”, let me know why that is for you.