It took me studying abroad to finally realize what others before me long ago discovered: America is flawed. Like every country, America has its share of shortcomings. We don’t have a squeaky clean past and we might not have the brightest future. We have blood on our hands. We had it on our hands years ago and we still have it present day. But…no country is perfect and most of the time I’m very proud to be an American.
However, in light of recent events, I can’t help but feel more pessimistic about this country’s future than ever before. Although it’s no secret that I want to live abroad, to get out of America for a bit, and to experience different cultures… you’ll never hear me being ungrateful for the life I was granted growing up in the states.
I can’t pretend to fully understand the recent shutdown or the exact string of events that led us to that point. But throughout this whole ordeal, my mind keeps replaying an old quote from my childhood.
It’s a quote from the 5th book of the Harry Potter series, The Order of the Phoenix. In the book, the infamous sorting hat changes the tune to its old song. Tragedy had struck the wizarding world. Its future was in peril. There was no denying that fact. There were problems and there was no quick fix. But the sorting hat simply encouraged the students to unite.
Oh, know the perils, read the signs,
The warning history shows,
For our Hogwarts is in danger
From external, deadly foes
And we must unite inside her
Or we’ll crumble from within
It might seem childish and ill-informed to quote a children’s book to offer advice during this government shutdown. But all I can think about during this time is that now…more than ever…we have to unite.
Our beloved country is struggling. We are having trouble agreeing. We are having trouble making the right voices heard. And we are finding it difficult to feel hopeful during this time. So now, more than ever, we must unite or crumble.
The thing that I have always and will always love about our country is that we are a country composed of thousands of little cultures and beliefs to form one. One nation. One nation … indivisible… with liberty and justice for all.
We must unite inside our country or crumble from within.