My America is not lost: a note I wrote to a friend

My friend, yes America is in trouble, but all is not lost.

Why? Despite the beat-down of the individual, who has been challenged by accusations that their personal freedoms were threats against the common good, common defense, or the common “good”, he and/or she persists because of the bills to pay, the kids to feed, and all the countless childhood dreams or moments of inspiration that give us strength. There is still room for difference of opinion and approach, despite the “powers that be” who regardless of political affiliation seem hell-bent on subjugating the will of others to specific or cynical ends.

America is only truly lost if we didn’t have people like you around, who march at a cadence only you hear and feel, without regard to outside opinion. I’m not about to say it’s on you to solve the country’s problems. It’s the approach you follow, and of others who do likewise in their own fashion. It’s the approach of all individuals, who, in the words of the Buddha, “strive on”. True change doesn’t come from the flourish of oratory born in Illinois, neither does the true “Maverick” spirit hail from just Arizona, or Alaska, or anywhere else specifically.

Liberation and salvation never came from the top down, it comes from each and everyone of us scratching away on the ground, doing our own thing while recognizing the right of others to do this too. You are right we are lost, but so many of us are busy finding our way back, each on our own, because we have no choice, because it is better to live than to die, and because we have loved ones we care about more than life itself and they feel the same way about us. The deepest wealth in every sense of the word came from following through on our faith in ourselves, our hopes and our dreams.

Yes, the America many knew will be lost, and thank goodness for that. We’ll be rediscovering an idea of a country that acts instead of reacts, that builds instead of takes, and that makes more than it needs to borrow. Why? Because we have no choice. Perhaps the name America fades one day, but the ideals will live on. That is the true “America” so many of us are wistful for, feeling the dull ache of recognizing lost youth and the panic at recognizing the passage of time and age.

You followed through on your moment of inspiration, which lit a way forward through a tunnel, and kept going. You are not alone in that respect. Your example, shared with the pride of a trailblazer striking a path for pioneers and settlers to follow, was a catalyst for me and so many, and so we too strive on. Real mavericks like you have done likewise for others in different fields and callings, inspiring true “change”. It’s in the middle of such places and moments that America is rediscovered and saved. Please never forget that.


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