As families across Barry County gather to celebrate Independence Day with barbecues and fireworks, it is important to remember the reason for these celebrations. This week, I have chosen to run a guest editorial by syndicated columnist Bryan Golden. I hope this column reminds all of our readers why we should celebrate our country and our freedoms this Fourth of July. ~ Lindsay Reed
What Makes America Great
By Bryan Golden
In less than 200 years, America grew from a handful of colonies to become the greatest nation in history. In a few hundred years, we surpassed nations that were many times older. What makes America great?
The two main elements that make America great are our people and our freedoms. Our people have a can do, nothing is impossible spirit. Starting with the American Revolution, we have always conquered adversity, often in the face of overwhelming odds.
We have more rights and freedoms than anywhere else in the world. Our freedoms are considered inalienable rights, not privileges granted by government. Our freedoms are the envy of the world. Every item in the bill of rights is a precious jewel, designed to ensure the immortality of our liberty.
Our founders came from societies where government controlled its citizens. They had a solid understanding of the consequences of unchecked power. Our constitution was crafted specifically to limit the scope of government to prevent its infringing on individual liberties.
Our constitution is a brilliant document, filled with foresight and understanding, that has withstood the test of time. The principles embedded in the constitution are the foundation of our greatness.
In America, each citizen can control his or her destiny without fear of interference by government or others. Our government was formed to serve the people rather than vice versa. Our government was designed to play a minimal role in people's lives.
Our doors have always been open to people from anywhere in the world who want to come here legally to work hard, contribute and assimilate into our society. America's reputation as a melting pot is derived from the fact that people from every walk of life can work together to create an unstoppable force for good.
In America anything is possible. America is great because it offers its people unlimited opportunity to succeed by bringing their dreams to reality. In America, success requires hard work, determination and persistence, not permission. We are constitutionally protected to prevent government from confiscating the results of our labor.
America is an engine for unprecedented productivity. Our economic system has been responsible for civilization transforming innovations and discoveries. No other country has even come close and many other systems have failed miserably.
America has a big heart. Whether in this country or elsewhere, we help those who can not help themselves. Americans are first on the scene in the wake of natural or civic disasters. We are there with food, supplies, medical aid and money. Our brave soldiers travel the globe defending those who can't defend themselves.
In America there are no problems that we can't solve. Any obstacles we may face do not taint our greatness. It is our greatness that enables us to overcome adversity and become even stronger in the process. Everyday, be thankful that you live in America and benefit from its greatness. Don't take for granted that which people in other countries can only dream about. Be proud to be an American.
Golden is the author of "Dare to Live Without Limits," a self-development expert, syndicated columnist and professor. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org