America: the land of the free and home of the disheartened?

It seems like every day that Americans hear about another crisis in this nation. One week, it was Hurricane Sandy. Another it was Boston. But what most Americans don’t realize is that if we wallow in our sadness, nothing will change.

These occurrences are terrible, that much is true, but we don’t do anything to fix it. We’re not the only country who has problems, but other countries don’t immerse themselves in sadness like we do.

People remember those impacted by the Boston Marathon bombings. Patrick Whittemore/Boston Herald/MCT
People remember those impacted by the Boston Marathon bombings. Patrick Whittemore/Boston Herald/MCT

Countries such as Israel are constantly being bombed and having to fight with other countries, yet on Tuesday, they celebrated the 65th Independence Day of Israel with excitement and fun.

America calles itself the “land of the free and home of the brave,” but do we deserve to call ourselves that anymore? When so many Americans try to stand up, but still so many more stay silent, do we deserve to call ourselves brave?

Yes, there are some people who try to make a difference, but there are also those who try to stop change and stop things getting better. They think that just because it’s been done for a long time, it shouldn’t be changed.

In all honesty, many Americans don’t pay attention to the world around them. They hear things such as”conflict in Africa” and have become indifferent to the hurt that happens in other countries. But when it happens to Americans, somehow it’s more important.

Americans only care if it affects them, and then they suddenly want to become the heroes of the story.

“Human beings are selfish and only care about themselves” is the excuse that is sometimes given. Then why can you see photos of children in third-world countries with their prayers for the US? Shouldn’t we be able to help ourselves?

If more people of my generation actually do something about what’s going on in America and the world, then maybe some change will happen. We have a lot of rights and freedoms as American citizens, so shouldn’t we share them and improve those ones that are outdated?

What happened in Boston and Texas these last few days was terrible, but these are not the only bad things that happen and need to be fixed. Americans need to wake up and see what they’ve been avoiding for so many years. Help ourselves, and we help the world around us.

Originally seen on as part of a feature section on the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013

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