A not-so-ugly American

is maybe...

- someone who does not seek revenge as a matter of course but is not afraid to instead use practical conflict resolution;

- someone who understands that, perhaps, the date on which fell a sunny clear blue sky - but equally fell the most terrible tragedy possible - might also be a date of another type of possibility: for the opportunity to create a safe space for others and for good in oneself;

- someone who attempts to speak the foreign language of the foreign country he is visiting; if that is too hard, offers a kind, "I am sorry, but I speak English. Could you assist me?";

- someone who attempts to understand the different types of Americans that exist in America (poor, rich, white, black, Native-American, modern-day immigrant, English-speaking, Spanish-speaking, Cantonese-speaking, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, I am excluding a lot of religious folks and faiths here but you get the idea, bullish, bearish, conservative, progressive, etc.) without the expectation that the other types should be a mirror image of himself;

- someone who reads a newspaper as often as he can, once a week being the absolute minimum;

- someone who reads a fiction or non-fiction book every month or two;

- someone who attempts to formulate his own opinions about the world (and does not resort to regurgitating sound bites from others or t.v.);

- someone who has performed non-paid work for his country/or a not-for-profit at least twice in his lifetime;

- someone who keeps a promise when he makes it;

- if he can't keep it, he is someone who makes up for it to maintain integrity; and maybe

- a person who does not mind helping a neighbor when a reasonable call for help is made.

Note: This post was written by me, and I live in New York. It is intended to be apolitical and areligious. Have a peaceful September 11.

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