Adam's Antics

August 31, 2012

What Does it Mean to be “an American?”

Filed under: General Antics — Adam Scott Wandt @ 11:15 pm

What do you think it means to be “an American?”  Please leave your comments.

17 responses to “What Does it Mean to be “an American?””

  1. guy says:

    Rohan Krishnan
    Grade 5

    What does it mean to be American? Some people think that you must be born in America to be American. Yet, Americans can be any person from an Arab immigrant to an undocumented immigrant child who comes to America in search of freedom and opportunity. To be a true American, one must reach certain, important, requirements such as being a citizen, living in America for ten years, and serving America.
    First of all, being a citizen is a essential to being an American because it completes one’s freedoms. One essential aspect of being a citizen is voting. Voting is important because one can be able to participate in a democracy. A second, important quality of being a citizen being able to get one and one’s family into Congress. Getting into Congress is significant because one can change America and it’s ways. A third, crucial factor is being able to get your family members into America. This is imperative because one can get their children from a different country to America. Or if both parents of a child is a citizen then the child automatically becomes a citizen. Although, applying to be a citizen may take time and money the venture is worth it because of all it’s advantages. To sum it all up, being a citizen is worth applying for because of all the benefits.
    Secondly, being in America for ten years is necessary because one can know and be familiar with America. One considerable element, of being in America is being able to meet cultures and religions because about a sprinkle of every nation has come to America. Meeting new and different cultures will amaze one because every culture and religion has something interesting. Another chief essence, is that one can get to be more familiar with America. Knowing America more will be prosperous when one comes to America because one will know how America works. Lastly, new technology comes to America before any other country because mainly all the spectacular inventions are usually invented in America such as the iphone and the computer. Overall, coming to America for ten years is important because of the help it gives.
    Perhaps, serving America is the most essential part of being an American because that’s what makes this country amazing. One example of a fabulous invention made by Alexander Graham Bell is the telephone. Alexander Graham Bell was a Scottish immigrant who had made the telephone for one of his students who was having trouble hearing. The second example of an amazing food is the hamburger. The hamburger was invented by Fletch Davis, an German immigrant. Lastly, the third example is a fun pastime is bowling. Bowling was invented by a Dutch immigrant. But perhaps the most essential immigrants are not the people who invented things like the telephone and bowling, but the immigrants who came to America with nothing but their backs and their determination.
    In conclusion, to qualify for being a pure American one must acquire specific, essential, requirements such as being a citizen, being in a America for ten years, and serving America. In the end, these things are what makes people true Americans. Some people think America is a free country, when slavery still goes on and freedom of speech is limited. Do you think America is truly a free country?

  2. John Smith says:

    Being an American means doing your best to make America the best it can be. It also means believing in and protecting the constitutional rights.

  3. JOSEPH M. FUSELIER says:

    FROM MY VIEWPOINT; AS A SOLDIER IN THE US.ARMY/ARMY NATIONAL GUARD YOU SEE HOW OTHER NATIONS THAT ARE WAR-TORN AND IN TERRIBLE SHAPE IN THEIR DICTATORSHIP TYPES OF GOVERNMENT SUCH AS SYRIA AND NORTH KOREA. GOOD INNOCENT PEOPLE SUFFER BECAUSE THEY SEE AND KNOW THAT AMERICA IS A FREE AND DEMOCRATIC NATION. WE ARE NOT PERFECT, BUT OUR CHRISTIAN
    VALUES OF HELPING OTHERS AND OFFERING PROTECTION/GOVERNMENT AID TO FEED,CLOTHE AND GIVE MEDICAL FIRST -AID
    TO THOSE IN NEED. OUR SPECIAL FORCES/US.MILITARY PERSONNEL ARE GRATEFUL BEACONS OF HOPE AS WAS SHOWN IN HAITI, INDONESIA( SUFFERED AFTER A TSUNAMI, KUWAIT, AND OTHER WAR TORN AREAS AROUND THE WORLD. AMERICA ALONG WITH HER ALLIES DO PEACEKEEPING DUTY AND SERVE AT EMBASSIES/CONSULATES. I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH WE ARE TOUGHING OUT A RECESSION WE WILL COME THROUGH IT AS SHOWN AFTER 1929. WE ARE A STRONG,RESILIENT,COMPASSIONATE NATION WILLING TO SHARE OUR CUSTOMS AND OFFER HOPE TO THOSE IN NEED.

  4. Yisania Crispin says:

    What does it means to be an American?
    The real meaning of being an American is going above and beyond the place where you were born or obtaining a naturalization certificate. I personally was not born in this country, I obtained my citizenship. However, I believe that being an American is about having the freedom to choose whatever goals you envision and want to achieve in your life and being able to pursuit it. Being an American is about having choices regarding what you want to do with your life and having the possibility of seeking an education that could help you improve your chances of being successful on your endeavors. Even if you failed in your attempts about attaining your goals you will gain experience that will help you not to repeat those mistakes that hinder you from attaining your goals in life. In other words being an American is having the freedom to pursuit, to try, to change, to strive, remain the same, or improved yourself to be a better than what you was yesterday. Having these freedoms, and simultaneously respecting the same freedom of other is what helps shape you and those around and the combination is what makes up America.

  5. Robert Pierce says:

    In my eyes being an American means more than just having citizenship or being born here. Being “American” in my eyes means to believe in the ideals and principles that this very country has been built upon. Ideals and principles such as freedom, democracy, capitalism and living the so called “American Dream” where hard work can lead to rising from poverty to make something of yourself. These ideals and principles are the very reasons why I believe so many individuals from all different countries risk their lives to come here each and every year. Although in reality, America is not exactly what our founding fathers may have envisioned it would be when they drafted our declaration of Independence or our constitution; however, I believe these principles still serve as the foundation for this country and are what it means to be an American.

  6. Marissa Daniel says:

    To me, being American means being proud of who you are, regardless of your upbringing (culture, background, ethnicity, place of birth, etc.). It is a privilege to be American and one should be full of pride because of the love you have for your country. As a result, you will fight for the country ideals and contribute to the country in any way you can by actively participating in government, contributing to the economy, and fighting for the right to be American.

  7. Michelle Kim says:

    First of all, I believe that being an American would mean to have an American citizenship thus to have all the rights and privileges as listed in the United States Constitution. America is a country of opportunity and freedom, but the responsibility and duty to obey the law also follows. Moreover, the United States has diverse individuals so Americans need to accept and share the diversity among people and work together to brighten the American culture. Actively getting involved in the community would help individuals to better appreciate the American society. Also, understanding the history of the United States is important to picture the better future for the country.

  8. Peterson k Lambert says:

    Being an American gives the feeling of freedom, unity, and equality. I am greatful to be an American because there are lots of opportunities from which one can benefit in this country. It opens up everything to everybody. Here, you can follow any religious organization or culture you wish without being subjected to persecution,or forced to do otherwise.
    Unlike many other nations, Ameerica takes care of the needy, the homeless, and infirm.
    It is somewhat of a melting pot, in that, people of various backgrounds, religions,and culture, all work and recreate harmoniously in this great plural society. America reflects patriotism, leaership and power. I am proud to be an American.

  9. Glenn Endick says:

    As an American citizen I am afforded all rights and privileges as defined in the Constitution of the United States. Based upon the tenants of our constitution we are afforded a multitude of freedoms which include but are not limited to, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press. We are provided the opportunity to vote for our elected officials on the federal state and local levels. Freedom of choice is not only our right, but our responsibility.

  10. Cesar Vargas says:

    There is no doubt that being an American will always have some relationship with the ideals and products well-known all over the world about Americans. If you are an American, native or naturalized, visiting a foreign country people will look at you and immediately will picture you in a Coca-Cola TV commercial having a good life with all the commodities and freedom that the United States offers. Unfortunately, these views about America and Americans get to our heads and we forget that we still have many problems in the American society. To me being an American means to give credit to all those who have shaped this society in a direct and indirect way from the Native Americans and founding fathers to the African slaves and current immigrants. The emphasis of our strong beliefs in freedom and democracy is important but so is the acknowledgment of the dark side in American history such as slavery and segregation. We have so much more to offer to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, after 9/11 we have become a society full of fear. I am sure we will overcome this but hopefully this is done before we pursue another war in a foreign land with the intent to bring freedom and democracy.

  11. A.P. says:

    To me, being an American has different meanings depending on where you live. Not every part of the U.S. is culturally and racially diverse. However, one thing for sure is that being an American means that you have, in addition to basic human rights, constitutional rights. Even if one does not have to be a U.S. citizen living in the U.S. to have those constitutional rights, but they are rights created for people in this country. Being an American means you are free to do anything you want without hurting others in the process. You have the right to pursue your happiness. It also means that you do not have to be scare to live your own life.

  12. Mr.Nathan says:

    My Parents are not natives of this country and being an American to them means freedom, democracy, and opportunity. Being that I am a native of the USA, I think that being an American is believing in the laws of this land, being a protector humanity, a protestor against immorality, a justice seeker, and lastly; a person who does their share to make America the most prosperous and powerful Nation in the world. The latter can be accomplished by simply working a job, volunteering, etc.

  13. Emil says:

    A good question because there really isn’t a wrong answer. Being an American is differant for differant people. We’re such a pluralistic society that being an American to one person can be something differant to someone else. Even today within our own society, 50 differant nation-states have there own unique culture and population that some states feel like differant countries.
    Aside from that, an American is someone who is tolerant of other cultures and ideas because our ancestors were from differant cultures before their migration to North America. It’s someone who accepts the free exchange of ideas even if they disagree with them.

  14. Denis Myagkov says:

    Having an American passport and citizenship and knowing the ins and outs of the society around you. No one definite answer, Americans are made up of a wide number of people.

  15. […] free to post your own.  Adam also reached out to the community to try and start a discussion about what it means to be an American.  I’d really love to see how the Commons responds to questions of identity and […]

  16. Sebastien Auguste says:

    For me there is no definitive answer. I would say that being “an American” means standing with and making America better. I give this answer because being born in America isn’t enough.

  17. Believe everything you see in writing!!

    Okay, on a serious note, this is an interesting question, Professor Wandt! I will have to think about this and get back to you.

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