America is America. I love her always. I feel patriotism always. My parents, my wife, my family, all love me because of me and in spite of me. They don’t love all I do, or all of how I do it. They do always love me. True love means loving the being and the entity, and separating those from the actions.

I love America. I also acknowledge that we’re a young nation. It’s easy to forget that our actual time in the spotlight has been shorter than the average life expectancy of our people.

We’re young. And we’re all the things that youth brings with it. Confidence and energy. Arrogance and recklessness. The biggest thing that youth gives us is the energy to make mistakes, and the strength and confidence to recover and learn from those mistakes.

We’ve made lots of them. Look at our poverty. Look at our education system. Look at our wealth gap. Look at our infrastructure. Look at the way we (sometimes, not often, not always, just sometimes) treat each other. Today is not our forever. Today is not our destiny. Today is merely, today. The only thing today is for sure, is a byproduct of yesterday.

I know what America means to me. It means every single day I stand on the shoulders of the hundreds of millions of people who came before me and sewed together some piece of this fabric. I know America means to me that I am not welcome in some parts of this country implicitly, and I know in others explicitly. I am not young anymore. I also have my own experience and perspective. I know I’m welcome in more places today than I would have been 43 years ago when I was born. And I know my son and daughter are welcome in more places than I was at their age. It’s not perfect. Neither am I. It’s getting better.

Which is more than I can sometimes say for myself. If peopled judged me for the way I acted in my youth (hell, even the way I acted a month ago), I’d be alone I’m sure.

I won’t judge all of America on some of the actions of Today.

In the end, I love all of America, but… I know what America means to me. It means the power to choose to be like TI. Happy 4th of July. There’s a new kind of independence we need to fight for. TI’s got it going on IMHO. And I applaud this vision, very specifically. Very explicitly. I don’t applaud his public drunkenness, how he treated Tiny, or none of that. But nobody’s perfect.

I can separate action from actor, and maybe today, I need to do more of that to keep moving forward. If there is a fight in our world today it is the fight for meaning. All that we rail against is anchored in our search and desire for meaning. I love America.

#iamgrateful and #iamthankful for America. All of it. I’m not feeling less patriotic, I’m feeling more. Because love is objective and independent and from the inside out. True love exists independent of reciprocation.(And let me be clear, I feel super loved back, America.)


Thanks for the share Toni Blackman

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