I have many, many stories that I tell about myself. Some are 100% true, but not as many as I’d like to think. Like water polishing a rock, time and retell changes the original story into something smoother, prettier, more interesting and more compelling. Over time, small changes become permanent regardless of the percentage of accuracy the story now contains. These stories, however, are not deliberate lies. They are impressionist paintings, with shadows, colors, and shape all meant to imply what is “real” without committing to reality.
Knowing this about myself, I wonder if other people get this about themselves? Or, more to the point, does our country get it? I think that some of our issues — economic, political, and social — come from our reverse rose-colored glasses. While our country as an entity has its own mythology, each one of us, based on our family backgrounds, have our USA mythology as well. We’ve made it bigger, meaner, leaner, and more independent than maybe it really is.
I wonder if we as US citizens would examine what we really think of when we consider our country, if we could then confront our “problems” and find realistic solutions. Solutions that don’t harken back to a golden age of anything, but rather look ahead to what we want our new mythology to be.