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PFP fellow Andrei Briceac on E PLURIBUS UNUM

October, 22 2014

AMERICA THROUGH THE EYES OF A MOLDOVAN


A month is a very short period of time to fully understand the American people. A month is not even enough time to visit all the museums in Washington, D.C. However, a month is sufficient to form a first impression. And, as we all know, first impressions count.


I noticed that the phrase E PLURIBUS UNUM is not a simple expression for the American people. Perhaps this unofficial motto defines the best national ideal of the nation. It is amazing that this country has managed to keep its identity and unity even as it welcomes thousands of new immigrants every year. U.S. institutions, supported by a strong civil society, also manage to further and sustain a development for the country, despite obvious differences among the population, like those based on race, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or culture. U.S. society itself plays a very important regulatory role as well. It actively and successfully promotes the idea of tolerance, as well as dialogue as a means of resolving disputes.


It seems that the idea of liberty is at the foundation of American society. Liberty is basically expressed in all aspects of life. At the same time, people do not confuse liberty with anarchy. For sure, such a high level of freedom has been achieved and maintained only because people play such active roles in society. American people never stop fighting for and insisting on their freedom. Any attempt to limit or restrain their freedom is quickly rebuked by civil society. And in order to protect their freedom when threatened, people use the remedies offered by the Constitution, especially through the courts.

 

Mass media also plays an important role in the U.S. It contributes significantly to the improvement of the democratic institutions by playing a dual role in U.S. democracy: first, it is a voice for civil society, and second, it facilitates public monitoring and control over state institutions. Every person contributes to the development of this enormous social enterprise. I have never seen people so involved in volunteer activities or in efforts that support the community. Americans take their role in society and in the work place very seriously. They are highly specialized and are focused on doing one thing, but doing it their best. In paying great attention to the American people's approach to their jobs, I found that a bus driver or a museum guide (see my post on facebook about the guide from the Capitol who speaks 56 languages) is a Stradivarius in his field.


It is easy to conclude that the U.S. is a country where any human being on earth can find a place. Personally, I would like to live in this country. But I have a moral duty to my nation, to my ancestors, and to my children. I have to do something for my country - Moldova. It is my country, and even though it is facing tough times now, I cannot leave it. I am Moldovan. By helping my country, I help myself. I had taken for granted the fact that I had the chance to grow up and go to school in my country during a time of peace. But my country supported me when I was in need. Now that I have the ability to do something for my country, I must do it.

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