We are at that important mark again: Happy Independence Day United States! I don’t know how you feel; it is bittersweet to me.
Bitter because the sad and hard-to-swallow facts of our history are out there as never before and people are more aware of the racism and inequality in this country. Bitter because the world always knew about slavery in our history, but always thought many of the issues of racism is behind us by now. Bitter because even after a black person was able to become a President and it symbolized tremendous progress, we are all facing the tough truth about how people of all colors are still treated differently.
Sweet because this country is waking up to a new day that recognizes some of those tough truths. Sweet because immigrants like me always believed and still believe this country can triumph all the tough times no matter what and has a strong foundation. Sweet because people are out there unified and voicing their concerns.
We want this country to be better.
We want this country to embrace its wonderful diversity.
We want this country to stand for equality.
We believe if we are united and notice the things we have in common more than what makes us different, we can turn this around.
I am hoping when I say “we”, it represents the majority of us.
The country’s biggest strength is its diversity and it will continue to be the biggest force for change. This is the reason why so many people look up this country. This is the one big thing we cannot lose. Instead of seeing it as a threat like some people do, we can see diversity as the biggest gift this country has given itself.
I am a big Purpose person and I look at the world from micro to macro level from that perspective. This country lacks a clear vision and Purpose that unites us all right now. What do we want to really stand for? What is the most beautiful vision for this country and its people? The best leader we can have needs to spend a lot of time making this clear for all of us.
(It is no different than the questions we need to ask ourselves individually or the questions all organizations need to ask themselves.)
Before I decided to live here, I always believed the United Stated stood for equality and justice for all. And that “all” included every immigrant who chose to live here (not only the immigrants who settled here five generations ago but every new generation thereafter), every refugee that had to flee their country and every slave that was brought here and the new generations that came from them. I saw the Purpose as being the most inclusive, most diverse country where every dream is possible. That got me here and made me spend my energy, effort, and potential here. That vision and Purpose I saw made me believe my son can have a better future here than my own country.
What is next for this country?
I will end with the words of a wise man I talked to today: Let’s make this 4th of July a day of reflection as much as a celebration this year.