My wife Lucy is 48 inches tall and I am a towering eight inches taller. We belong to an organization called Little People of America. Often we are referred to as “little people” but that is a misnomer. We are simply people who happen to be little.
“What’s the difference,?” you might ask. On the surface it may seem the same but there is a difference…a BIG difference. We know many folks who are short statured and they focus on the fact that they are little. We choose to focus on the fact we are people. Size is a physical description but that is not our identity!
In our country today, we have many groups who hyphenate who they are. “I am Afro-American” or “I am Mexican-American.” The list can continue forever….”Italian-American,” “Irish-American” “Afghan-America,” “Iraqi-American.” These are all people who came from different backgrounds to the United States of America for the same reason….a better life! It seems today that our states are still united but our people are not.
Americans are unique in that we are not defined by what we look like or where we came from. We are defined by our attitude; of where we are going and who we are becoming. Being short or tall, black or brown, having a different culture or language, physical strength or weakness does not define us! Outside circumstances do not define us! In America we are free and we define ourselves!
America is a country that cannot be defeated by outside forces and so evil has wormed its way inside. It tries to separate and divide us through our physical differences for it knows that when our spirits unite we cannot be defeated. Causing us to identify ourselves as minority groups, evil tells us that we must fight against the “conspiring majority” and teaches us to fear each other. We are told to vote for what is best for our cause, not what is best for our country.
Not too long ago I saw over 1000 American flags displayed by an organization called Flags 4 Freedom and it made me think of the lives that were sacrificed so you and I could be Americans without any splintery hyphens. Their lives gave us the right to respectfully disagree and to responsibly live together, embracing our unity and honoring our diversity. Those flags reminded me of a pledge I used to say every day at school. Perhaps we should say it every day at work.
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands
one nation under GOD,
with liberty and justice for all