Welcome! Thank you for subscribing to this weekly newsletter. At Common Sense Civics and Citizenship, we look to find what we have in common- our founding American documents, and all that America aspires to be. Our country is going through a tumultuous time. Our freedoms are at risk on certain fronts. It’s not time to relinquish our rights and responsibilities. It’s time to become stronger as individuals and as a nation by refreshing our knowledge of what our Founders gave us. I invite you to read on…
Ever notice how particular ideas or concepts travel in three’s? Here is a small sampling: 3- D, 3ft. in a yard, 3-piece suit, 3 -ring circus. Of course, there’s Curly, Larry, and Moe, and on your mark, get set, go. How about the Nina, Pinta, and the Santa Maria? Or red, white, and blue? Then there’s “Of the people, by the people, and for the people,” and “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
I’d like to add another set of three that goes very well together: unity, opportunity, and equality. Why group these together? They are ideals that develop strength and a common identity in families, groups, organizations, and nations. Let’s take a closer look.
America is a land of many people from many nations. E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One), which is our national motto. As a young country, we spent our years learning to get along with our neighbors who immigrated from many places. Today, we have differences but instinctively know that the ideal is to unite. It’s even in our name- United States. We strive to maintain our individuality while coming together on the basics of American life.
We are a country that believes everyday people can realize their dreams with hard work and a chance to succeed. Many immigrants started out with humble beginnings and ended up with viable businesses. Maybe your parents or grandparents were some of these people. We are a country that believes in second chances and redemption. If you fall down, you can get up and keep going. As the Land of Opportunity, we extend a hand to others who are willing to work hard to succeed.
Sometimes equality gets confused with equity. Equality has the idea of equal opportunity. Equity carries with it the sense of sameness and having identical opportunities. There is a difference.
We have not always been faithful to equality when it comes to the law. We believe in equal justice under the law, not separate laws for different groups of people. That is an ideal that we must continually work for and teach our children to value.
What other American ideals can you think of? Which one(s) are most important to you?
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