America's founding and what we can learn from each other today
By Abe Villarreal
When I visited the East Coast last week, I was looking forward to seeing new places and experiencing life outside of the southwest. I did, and I also found out how much we remain similar same as people to each other all across these United States.
America and its vastness is quite the amazing thing to think about and ponder. We are a large country made up of hundreds of millions of people.
When you turn on the television set or listen to the news radio broadcast, you are left thinking that we are only a few cracks away from having a complete societal breakdown.
People are tweeting, and saying, mean things to each other. To those that we disagree with, we look with disdain and sometimes even hatred.
We don't understand each other, and it makes us not like each other.
I visited the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. As I looked at the images of our Founding Fathers, and read the descriptions of how this country came to be, I closed my eyes and imagined how challenging it would be to write a Declaration of Independence today.
The Constitution and the Declaration were written by groups of different people, who grew up with different parents, attending different churches, and entering different professions.
The disagreements were dramatic and profound in their philosophical nature. The Bill of Rights was born as a follow-up document to the Constitution because the majority did not believe it was necessary.
Today, we write our Congressmen and ask them to consider things like changing Daylight Savings Time. Yes, the times have changed.
As I walked through the streets of Philadelphia, I took in the beautiful buildings and touched the cobblestone streets. I imagined the life of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton in the birthplace of America.
Do you notice that sometimes we feel like everyone else in America should be just like us? For us southwesterners, driving slow and speaking softly are admirable traits. Waving hello to all and enjoying the views of miles and miles of empty roads makes us happy.
In Philadelphia, and even in the small town of Middlesex, New Jersey where I spent a few days, people are in a hurry. There is little time for looking up and taking a breath. Time is money, and the East Coast life is expensive.
And yet, we are all Americans. Those intellectuals that argued for weeks and weeks on what kind of document would serve as the birth certificate for our still young country, somehow came together to realize that we were all in it for the same reasons.
Concepts like Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness seem too big for we the people to understand. And they are big concepts. They are ideas that remain as complex as they were more than 200 years ago.
But they are noble ideas. The kind that we should still be thinking of when we make big decisions like who we want to lead our country and what kind of laws we need in our communities.
The times have changed but in some ways we are where we were on those long days of discourse in a time when there were only a few colonies and a few good men trying to make what we have today possible.
I encourage you all to visit our great country. Visit the big cities and the small towns. Visit the places where decisions are made and visit the places where ordinary folks live and raise families.
All of these things are different and sometimes difficult to understand. All of it is worth seeing and trying to understand.