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A Comparison: America to a Human Child

Updated on June 20, 2016
Top hat and tails
Top hat and tails | Source

While watching a horse race on television set in Britain recently, I noticed something that had been in my face for years but had gone unnoticed. While the Queen and her Dukes and Knights rode around the perimeter of the track in their finest tails and top hats it hit me: tradition. Their clothing, actions, and even the race itself is steeped in tradition. Not hundred year old tradition but hundreds of years old tradition: England is ancient. France is as well, Germany, Italy, China and Japan are ancient. They all have age old traditions handed down from generation to generation and proudly keep and maintain them regardless of what the media and populace think. Yet even those groups are enjoying the traditions and accept them for what they are: the history of their country.

But America is different. It thrives on tossing away that which is "old" and embraces that which is new, different, even scandalous.


What do I mean?

Well, in order to explain myself I would like to compare our country to a human child, beginning at birth. The birth of our nation in 1776 began with a bang: the Declaration of Independence. America burst from the womb that was England with a loud and decisive statement of "Here we are!" to the rest of the world. We had been nurtured and lay growing within the body of England until we could no longer be contained then we ventured down that uncertain path to freedom from our safe yet constrained place.

We then began to grow, taking in the world and its wonders. Lewis and Clark's Voyage of Discovery was our learning to crawl, to explore our playpen called North America. We set our feet on a path that began with the Eastern Seaboard and turned West towards unknown territory much as a toddler learning to walk might, seeing something interesting and beginning a journey to learn about our environment.

The War or 1812 could be our Terrible Twos in which we are learning our boundaries and deciding we will not accept them. We decided to find a way to get what we want and will not be denied.

Our Formative Years

The mid 1800's are the years we began to be schooled. The Civil War is our first fight with our best friend, he who we have known for most of our lives; or perhaps it is better stated our first fight with that younger sibling. We love them yet they did something which made us mad and all hell breaks loose. The family is divided, and a terrible battle ensues. In the end, the stronger sibling emerges as victor yet some wounds run so deep they may never truly heal. The young family is forever damaged.

After the war, we begin to stretch out across the country and new things are learned; we begin to become as the child who pulls the wings off of flies when we decide the time has come to eliminate the Indian Culture. We are still too young as a country to realize how cruel we are, this not understanding that we can all live together in harmony and respect so we set out to kill that which we do not understand.

Our Civil War
Our Civil War | Source
WW I | Source

Entering the 1900's

Then comes the new century. We have left grammar school behind and are entering junior high school. We are about to leave our youth behind and become teenagers. We are growing stronger as a body does once they hit the early teens and we are set on finding our place in the world. Will we be the one who is picked on by others because we are the new kid on the block? Or will we show the world who's boss and take on all comers, emerging with a bloody nose but the rest of the world now knows we are a force to be reckoned with.

Then comes another world war and we are tested again, The first bully has cleaned up his wounds and thinks our first victory was a fluke. Another older culture joins in and we are forced to defend ourselves and those who are on our side once more. Again, we emerge victorious; bloodied worse than before but victorious.

We then hit our mid teens around 1950. We feel we are unbeatable, having just defeated the best the world has to throw against us. We become cocky, arrogant. Bring it on! we shout to whoever can hear us. We begin to act like a sixteen year old with his first drivers license, going wherever we want to and trying out our father's beer, getting drunk for the first time. We are invincible!

Then two small countries backed by another power test us once more and this time, things are different. While we may claim victory it is hollow and may not be as real as we want to believe. But we remain teenagers and to our minds at least, invincible. As we continue to grow more and more things change and not for the better.

Korean War
Korean War | Source
I have no words.
I have no words. | Source

The Last Thirty Years

Beginning in the mid 1980's we are as those in our senior year of high school and moving forward in the world. We are the "top dog" in school and no one messes with us. At least, no one but that strange person who doesn't fear us at all. They may not pick a fight directly but they let everyone know they are not afraid of us by taunting us, throwing things at us. We react but cannot catch them: they are too fast and hide when we come after them.

But still we move forward. We begin to experiment, to try things never before attempted. We get tattoos, nose rings, face and eyebrow piercings. We are not satisfied with our appearance and we begin to change it, try new things to make us feel better. We are shallow and petulant, selfish. Respect is a thing forgotten for it makes one weak in the eyes our peers.

Then we go further. No longer are we satisfied with changing ourselves, we decide to demand others accept our changes. We become that which God and our Founding Forefathers never envisioned, going so far as to even change our very identity, that which we were born with. Being a man or woman is not who we are, now we must become something else.

It is amazing that the majority of children survive the late teens and early twenties to become adults. Drugs, alcohol, experimentation, a "know it all" attitude that refuses to allow them to acknowledge and learn from others who truly do know better and an arrogance that all too often proves deadly. As a country, we have done all of these and more, gaining then losing world friends as we continue to age. We splinter off into groups, "cliques" who belittle others in order to make ourselves feel better. We embrace the newest, the biggest, the best the world has to offer without taking a moment to determine if it is best for us or if it might harm us, perhaps permanently. We are invincible and have no thought for tomorrow.

America, if we want to reach adulthood in the eyes of the world we must become one, strong by cooperation instead of splintered factions of a once strong family. No longer can we be the cousins that hate one another, who fight at a drop of a hat. We must become a family who cares for one another and fights for each other. We cannot continue as children, continuing to become something we were not born to be, we must embrace that which we were born. We cannot continue to indulge our fantasies, our whims. We must take responsibility for our actions, care for our children. We must put aside childish things and put on the mantle of becoming a participating member of society, improving both our lot in life and that of our brother or sister. Stop acting as though you are a child: you are no longer a small child who can expect others to care for you. It is time to take out the nose rings, cover the tattoos. Trim your hair and wash out the dye. Take off the dress and put on a suit. Love your children and do not ship them off to your parents to raise. Look at your spouse and remember the love you felt when you were married. Be your age, not a younger version of what you wish you were. Grow up! Take your place in the world and make it a better place.


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    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 20 months ago from Missouri

      Cheyenne thank you. And as for tattoos, there's tats and then there's TATS! A few selected ones, tasteful in nature are fine, it's those heinous skulls and demons, flames and stuff that totally cover the body that I am speaking of. When I worked at that big box store, and even after at the school district these and facial piercings were not allowed: no more. Total arm and face tats, piercings in eyes ears nose lips and everywhere else are more common than not. And those damn ear spools! I'd love to be around when those people turn seventy and see what they think of them then!!

      Cosmetic surgery anyone? Take care Cheyenne!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 20 months ago from Central Florida

      Mike, this is brilliant. I love the analogy and the very well-written way in which you presented your message. However, I have tattoos, but they're in areas where they can be covered if need be. I agree with the rest of your message, though. Touche!

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 21 months ago from Missouri

      Mike, Larry, ps and peoplepower73 thank you for taking the time to read and comment here. I value your thoughts and words here, and am glad to be associated with each of you. Take care and maybe someday this country will grow up enough to take its place in the world., and history.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 21 months ago from Placentia California

      I agree with everything you said. Compared to many other countries histories we are but a fledgling country that is an experiment in democracy, capitalism, socialism, and a republic.

      I see us more as teenagers who are afraid of the differences in world governments and cultures. We would like everybody to be a democracy like us. If everybody is like us, then they are not a threat to us.

      However as teenagers we have not learned that democracy cannot be forced upon people who have lived in a theocracy for over a thousand years and their day-to-day lives are ruled by religion that can be interpreted for good or evil. We cannot democratize other countries and expect peace in the mid-east. It just isn't going to work. Once we realize that, we will move on to become an adult and not sacrifice blood and treasure for oil and money.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 21 months ago from sunny Florida

      It is true..some Americans do toss aside the old...but some of us do not. Sad for those who do.

      Thoughtfully presented.Angels are on the way to you ps

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 21 months ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting analogy.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 21 months ago

      Mike, what a brilliant way to tell this story. Your good idea fairy must have been working overtime to come up with this. You told it like it is and that is what counts.

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 21 months ago from Missouri

      Paula, thank you! Glad you enjoyed this and peace returned to you.

      Chris, we are continuing to divide ourselves through this constant bickering and childishness. Can you imagine how wonderful we could be if we put as much effort into helping, curing, assisting one another as we put into demanding, acting out and insisting each of us is more important that the other? As Louis Armstrong would say, "What a Wonderful World" it would be. Thank you and take care.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 21 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

      If you could leave me alone if I need to have an abortion, that'd be great. Think that's possible?

      By seeking to control, people divide.

      Only when Americans live and let live will this work.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 21 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Mr. Archer.....BRAVO!! This calls for a standing ovation. Perfectly stated and so necessary to be read by all. There is not a thing I could add nor take away from this fabulously-written piece of Fact & Truth.

      I thank you and intend to share this. Peace, Paula

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 21 months ago from Missouri

      Thank you Bill. We are still a young country but we act even younger than we should and we must grow up, grow together and be better than we have recently.

      My Cardinals will see you this weekend in Seattle; are you attending?

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Cooperation....compromise....we have to find a way, Mike. We cannot remain divided or we will, for sure, split apart. I hope this is read by thousands, my friend.