Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How I Feel about 'Merkah

So I was asked, for this job that I'm applying for to "write a one page essay about how I feel about America". Apparently its for this private school that has an "America-centric curriculum" and I guess they wanted to make sure that I'm not a dirty hippy.

Mom said that I should post my reply on my blog.

Here it is:

Life is a series of binaries, melodies and countermelodies of every kind. The governing one in a life is the space we try to live balancing our dreams and our realities. Both sides have claim on our mind, hearts and energies so we find ourselves in this space between, living in this benevolent, delicious and adventurous polarity.

This is what America is to me. It’s a crossroads of ideals, brilliance, energy and love mixed with a lot of blood, sweat, tears, pain, and hard work. There is a magic to this place. It’s an accessible magic ironically being the basic concept of space. There is space here. There is the obvious physical space but there is also emotional space, there is political space, there is intellectual space, there is spiritual space and there is enough for everyone.

The word I use for this is Liberty. We have a statue of it, a bell, the word peppers every founding document but I often wonder if it’s worth is really known. Many have sacrificed comfort, safety, families and even lives for it. It’s that costly because it’s that important and its what makes America truly great. Not Freedom, but Liberty. I think the two are very different.

Freedom, to me, is simply the state of being free from oppression from a malevolent source but Liberty is far more pointed and ennobled than that. Liberty is the chance to choose, to live a deliberate life, to have ownership over yourself and your future and in a beautiful dichotomy, those that were so ardently concerned about their welfare were motivated by true philanthropy. They loved themselves enough to fight for their rights in founding a new nation but they had a greater commitment to those that would come later and felt they deserved the same chance. That is a rare gift and one I marvel at everyday.

Because of this working reality of Liberty and Love I have hope everyday. I can feasibly hope and imagine changing whatever there is about my life and situation that I want to. I live and breathe the possible. There are few places where that is possible but here, it’s an everyday.

These everydays and the subsequent space they provide has led to everything else that I adore about America. We are an amalgamation of people from every corner of the planet that grew up one way but hungered for another. They were and are people with an instinct for justice, of brave souls. In turn we have grown up sons and daughters of heroes. We are a whole nation of fighters. Its no wonder the comic book was invented here, the car, the aircraft, the Internet. We’re all still exploring our world and trying to be the heroes of our own lives.

Naturally with so much strength we are constantly fighting for ourselves and sometimes with ourselves, but when called upon we boast some of the most courageous blood in the world and when we work together, nothing is impossible. The line between dreams and realities disappears. We’ve proven that to the world and ourselves again and again.

There is always a chance. There is always a way and most importantly there was someone who came before me that loved a faceless stranger enough to provide a way for me to find my own.


Anonymous said...


I was blown away by your essay. You certainly have a marvelous gift of the english language and the ability to express it so eloquently. You should be a writer or a teacher of writing. Hope the school feels the same and that they offer you a job. Good luck.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful baby.:) And I've decided you can't leave.

Ms. Liz said...

Thank you Emsy and thank you Anonymous person who likes my writing. I haven't heard back from the the school but they've made me do everything shy of a blood test and a polygraph during this application process and they're just these small schools so I'm not sure about the position but I would LOVE to write or teach it or both. Here's to hoping. :)

Tracy said...

I love knowing someone who will, one day, be quoted in literary history books. Write more (and do share).

Ms. Liz said...

I love having a best friend who thinks so well of me and is one of the most American people I know. *hugs*