by Patrice Brymner
Dear People of the World,
We write in peace to properly introduce ourselves to you. We, the citizens and residents of the United States of America, are a collection of souls from all corners of the Earth, living together as a single nation, united in fundamental principles.
We cherish life, personal liberty and freedom of expression. The men we call our forefathers, founded this nation on the inspired ideal that all men are not just created equally, but can live together in peace and harmony, while being free to worship if and how they choose, and free even to assemble against our government, if they so choose. In our pursuit of this ideal, we have made great strides and numerous contributions to the planet. We have also, at times, failed.
We have sometimes been careless and hurtful. We have also wounded ourselves at times, and recently we have been wounded deeply by the actions of others. The pain we feel now will either harden us or soften us, but we will not likely be as we were. We do not seek to fully catalog our contributions, justify our transgressions or portray ourselves simply as victims. Rather, we wish to address honestly some of our choices, for better or worse, and ask that you know us more fully.
In our very early years, some among us, by choice or and by inheritance, held men, women and children as slaves. We, and others in the world, captured and imported human beings to our land. We bought them, sold them and profited from their labor as though they were less than human. This abomination did not stand. Slavery on our shores, and its too slow demise, led to the only instance of civil war within our borders. That bloody war cost us many young lives, but resulted in the freedom of many more. We have worked hard to ameliorate the effects of slavery and work remains to be done.
Since then we have at times sought to profit from the labor of others less fortunate than us in other nations. Our corporations have employed men, women and children to produce goods for our consumption in exchange for wages, and under conditions that would not be tolerated here. We have also at times stripped resources from the lands of other nations without providing fair compensation. Many among us have protested these practices and continue to do so. Work on this front remains to be done.
We have at times supported foreign governments where we believed such support to be to our benefit. We have often failed to consider how such support might affect others on the planet. At times, such support has led to disaster and heartbreak for people who did not enjoy the benefit we sought for ourselves. Some among us have believed that these actions were justified if taken in the pursuit of exporting our principles. Some among us have simply felt that we were entitled to take these actions. Others among us have spoken out loudly against these actions. We are not united in this regard, and work remains to be done.
Even while we were performing these acts, we were feeding the hungry in other nations, supplying medicine and providing shelter where needed. We have come to the aid of people the world over when wars, unrest or natural disasters have devastated your lands and your peoples. We have also sought to keep our borders open and we have educated many of your sons and daughters in our schools, returning doctors, engineers and great scholars to your nations. We have accepted refugees from the world over and allowed travelers of all kinds to move about this land and enjoy the beauty and benefits of this nation.
We love and cherish what we have created for better or worse, and it is our nature to want to share it. Some would say we have shared too little with the rest of the world, others would say we have shared too much. But we are a young nation and we can learn from our mistakes. Perhaps we have been arrogant and not heard the cries of protest against our actions clearly. Perhaps we have failed to respect your wishes or respond to your requests. We are listening now. Our hearts and minds are open. We ask that you listen as well, with open minds and open hearts.
We have so much work yet to do and we have so much wed like to offer you. We seek to come into our maturity that we might share with all of you whatever we might create for the benefit of all. If we have been bullies, if we have been greedy, if we have offended you or hurt you in any way, we are sorry. It is not our heartfelt desire to harm others, to impose our ideals upon those who do not welcome them, or to take from anyone that which they would not give to us freely. Where we have blundered, forgive us.
We ask now that you know us as your brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, husbands and wives, as we wish to come to know you all. As we reach out now in friendship, please reach out to us that we may all shine as one world, brilliant in potential and innocent in our hearts. Together, as children on this Earth, we can move to reconcile our differences and recognize the connection between us all at the very core of humanity.
Our approaches may differ in our pursuit of the common goal of peace, but we need not all live, worship and create identically. Let us let one another care for our families, raise our children, grow our crops, tend to our livelihoods and revere our aged.