Being an American does not mean you should or shouldn’t possess a gun, but we should respect each other’s right to choose either. It’s a gun, it’s designed to kill people. You should be glad not everyone wants to do that.

Being an American does not depend on where you were born. We are all a mix, and we always have been. No one likes to be the last one picked for a team, so don’t be a jerk.

Being an American does not mean you need to speak a particular dialect, and we have never had an official language. Don’t be so self-centered, you look and sound different to other people too.

Being an American does not mean we must obey a particular religion or God, but we sure do know enough to keep them all out of our laws. If everyone doesn’t believe in something, then there’s no way you can rule with it. Ignoring this always leads to uprisings.

Being an American means you don’t need to know the words to our national anthem, or even to stand up during it. There’s people who think you should, and others who think you shouldn’t. The wonderful thing about freedom is when you get to exercise it.

Being an American does not mean you have to submit to an arranged marriage, or any marriage for that matter. And if you do want to marry someone else, we are finally beginning to realize that it’s no one’s business who you fall in love with. No matter how closed-minded people can be, no one like’s to be told what to do.

Being an American does not mean you have to fit in one of the predetermined parties that we group people by in politics. In fact, most of us rarely like everything that comes bundled up by a single political group. It’s almost as if people are actually different. That’s a good thing.

Being an American does not mean you have to like your president. In fact, we have always believed that a peaceful protest to can help right the wrongs we sometimes make. America has always tried to assure that the minority opinion gets heard. And when it doesn’t, it is our right to engage in constructive dissent to see that it does.

Being an American means that we recognize the world is bigger than us, most people are different from us, nothing is forever, a majority does not equal harmony, we don’t like bullies and monarchs, and we prefer to change our public servants often.

Being an American means that we take the good with the bad, and strive to be better next time. It means that you shouldn’t insult others for protesting during an anthem, especially if you can’t remember the words to our other national ballads.

Being an American means that we do believe, we do care, and we are united. But what we care about, what we believe in, and what we unite over, is different for each of us.

We are strong because we are different. We are special because we are equal. The most aggressive are the most afraid. And what looks like the end always brings a new beginning.