I think we as Americans are misjudged by other countries. My old Civics Professor, Dr. Preston, had us write an essay entitled "What is an American?" That just stumped me. Is an American the typical stereotype of the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant? Well, not anymore. There are no distinct physical features of what constitutes an American. Simply go to New York, Chicago, LA, San Francisco and even the farthest reaches of the country and you will find Asian Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans etc.--by definition ALL are Americans.
In the end I wrote about the ideals of being an American which are espoused in our Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
I don't think any other country in the world guarantees the pursuit of happiness. They even mention it twice in the same paragraph. Since it is guaranteed, I encourage everyone to actively pursue his own happiness...well, What are you waiting for? Men died so you can pursue it! GO!
I'll leave y'all with an anecdote from a very old,wise Black man. (I think it was Richard Pryor...It could have been Uncle Ben...)
He once said, "There's No other country in the World where a poor Black Boy can grow up and become a Rich, White Man...
and that boy was Michael Jackson."
God Bless America.