What makes America great?

By Linda Dupree

MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! I have heard that over and over! Well, what made it great in the first place and what did it lose so that we have to face that “again” thing?
I think that what made America great–and still maintains its greatness–is its people. The people who came here were desperate to find something better than what they had. So they came and worked hard and overcame obstacles and created something that had never existed in the history of civilization.

So, what did they do that was so great? And just who were these great people? Austin Dabney was a free man of color who paid for my great grandaddy to get an education. My husband’s grandfather went to jail during prohibition for a moonshine still on his property. But he took the place of the man who was actually making the alcohol because that man had a house full of little children, and grandfather’s children were grown enough to look after things.

The greatness came from the women of Goldonna Baptist Church saving the eggs their hens laid on Sunday, selling them and giving the money to missionaries who were suffering during the Great Depression, too.

Greatness comes from giving of your time…your SELF…to others who have nothing to give in return or who can simply pay it forward to the person in need that THEY encounter one day. It is the idea that I am not entitled to anything. If I want something or want something to be, I have to work for it and then share with others. My brother walked away from state foster care to join the Navy, get a high school diploma, go on to graduate from university and ultimately have a small part in the Apollo 13 mission. How bad do you want it? Do it. Go for it. Then share.

In all my 7 decades of living, I haven’t seen long lines of folks trying to get out of America. Instead, the rest of the world looks with longing or amazement at what is going on here. People are pretty much free to do as they please so long as they don’t do it in the streets and scare the horses!

I’m glad that I am typing this because I could never get through this story aloud. One spring, we took a camping trip to west Texas and along the Rio Grande. The weather had been pretty dry and where I was standing, I could have easily thrown a rock across that international boundary. I was looking at the water and the banks (you know how you do when you are standing beside a body of water), when I raised my eyes to other shore.
There in the bushes was a young boy about the age of one of my grandsons now. He was looking at me. We simply locked eyes for a long moment. I took in what all he would face in his lifetime…heck, by lunchtime. He was looking at me…a lower middle class woman who lived like royalty compared to most in his country…and a little bitty stream of water that made the difference. Except for that, I could have been him and he could have been me.

We smiled and waved to one another and I walked on down the river. BUT I HAVE NEVER FORGOTTEN THAT MOMENT!!!! All that his nation wasn’t and all that mine WAS came tumbling through my mind and I thanked God…not that I wasn’t bad off like he was (that is the Pharisee’s prayer), but I was so astounded to review the blessings that God has poured out on this land.

Get as bent out of shape as you wish. Stomp and yell because I may not agree with you. Vote for whoever you think would do the best job. But never EVER lose sight of just exactly what makes America great…and do your part to make your little bitty world a better place. Happy (early) 4th of July!

4 thoughts on “What makes America great?

  1. Thank you for your uplifting thoughts, Ms. Dupree. I enjoyed your article. I hope people will read it and find your words enlightening.
    America is a wonderful place, full of diversity. That is what we were built on, others. Lots of others from all over the world, all colors, all faiths, all walks of life.
    America is great, has always been great and will always be great..if we uphold the Constitution and the laws of the land. We need to treat everyone with respect, those that live here and those that want to live here.
    Happy 4th of July.

  2. 🙏Amen!!!! I’ve thought this same thing when I see misfortune, it could’ve been me. I choose Empathy, Gratefulness, and Responsibilty to always help when I can. I LOVE MY COUNTRY because I AM MY COUNTRY! ❤️🇺🇸

  3. And that folks is how the majority of America’s feel about our Beautiful Land. America-the greatest nation there has ever existed.

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