Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
These words made me proud to be an American as a child, I believed with every ounce of my heart that we were the greatest nation in the world for this very reason. Over the years however I've grown older and more cynical I now no longer believe we're that great nation. We were a country built on the principle of equality yet never in our history have we achieved it. We have been led by many great men who have spoken many great words but have done very little in regards to action. We've been told of dreams of men only to watch those men shot down before their dreams were ever allowed to infect the rest of us. We are a system for the people and by the people and yet every single day from the streets of New York City to Oakland, California we stand and shout for change and yet nothing ever seems to change. The time for talk has passed and the time for action has arrived. Washington cannot make it happen so it is the responsibility of every man, woman, and child no matter of race, religion, or sex to pick up the banner and wave it proudly. It is our duty as Americans, as human beings, to make this country the best country not only for ourselves but for future generations who are sure to come after we're dead and gone.
In 1689 A Letter Concerning Toleration written by John Locke was published and now more than ever this country needs to learn that toleration. We're divided by race, sex, sexual preference, age, religion, political parties, and countless other idiotic walls we have built over the years. We are not united by any means of the word; we've become intolerable, hateful, and greedy. We demand everything and we expect it to be handed to us now. We are no longer a symbol of hope in a dismal world, instead we stand on the edge of the same chaos as the rest and instead of trying to find a solution to the problems ourselves we simply pass the buck to our elected officials who we vote into office and then belittle until they are out. I have been called naive because I believe that change is possible, I've been called ignorant because I believe that we are truly created equal, and I've been called a fool because every day that I am lucky enough to wake up I try to figure out a way that'll help unite us all. We don't all have to like the same things, believe in the same gods, or even listen to the same music but we do need to be more tolerable of the choices of others just as we would want them to be tolerable of our own choices.
Stop believing we cannot change, stop listening to election time powerhouses that tell you standing up for change makes you un-American, and please stop sitting there doing nothing, because we need you, this country and this world needs you. Everyday more and more are waking up from personal slumbers and are beginning to try and make a difference if not for ourselves then for future generations. Black and white hand in hand, man and woman side by side, Christian and Muslim arm in arm, a united America and a united world. We the people are the change, from the desert sands of Saudi Arabia to the concrete jungle of Manhattan together we can and we will make it happen.