Dear Americans by Albrecht von Sydow by Albrecht von Sydow - Read Online

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Dear Americans - Albrecht von Sydow

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Dear Americans – a Christmas Letter

To the citizens of the United States of America

c/o Paul Ryan

Speaker of the House

H-232 The Capitol

Washington, DC 20515

United States of America


Copyright © 2016 Albrecht von Sydow

ISBN 978-1-365-60931-2

All rights reserved.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 License

Dear Americans

We need you!

We need America to become great again!

This We is all of us. The rest of the world, so to say.

This is a Christmas letter and a love letter.

I know that letters from strangers can be somewhat disconcerting, especially if they present themselves as love letters. And I actually do feel a bit like a rude stalker. So please accept my sincerest apologies for imposing.

There is no such thing as a We underwriting this letter. It’s just a very regular me who feels that this We need you carries a lot of truth (and more weight) and that this truth applies to all of us, i.e. all Non-Americans. This regular me is really no one of any significance. But please allow me to introduce myself in the briefest possible manner. I am a 42-year-old father of an unborn child who studied law and economics in Germany and international relations in the U.S..  I worked in forest management and as an investment banker and then as an entrepreneur in your country trying to build a wood pellet company. For the past five years I’ve worked as an independent coach and councillor. My bride and I live in a little straw thatched house on a meadow in a forest. I like meditation, feeling, thinking, cooking and chopping wood, not necessarily in that order. This should do.

We need you.

We need you like a football team needs a quarterback. If the quarterback is off his game, the whole team is off its game. And boy, you guys have been off your game quite a while.

We need you.

Is it not fundamentally true that our species is destined to evolve towards a just and free society all across earth? Is it not fundamentally true that our species is destined to evolve towards a society of gardeners of our planetary ecosystems? Out of principle AND for the purpose of leaving a habitable and peaceful world to our children? Doesn’t this HAVE to be true if the words destiny and destination carry any meaning at all?

I cannot imagine our human society to successfully evolve in this fashion within the next couple of centuries, if there is no guardian to protect this evolutionary process and if there is no role model to give us a direction. And, in my view, both jobs, the guardian job and the role model job, need to be integrated. The only country, the only society capable to achieve this, is you, the Americans, the United States of America.

This is why we need you. We need you as a lighthouse and as a gate-keeper. We need you as goal posts and as a referee. We need a quarterback. We need a well adjusted, disciplined quarterback who manages his internal conflicts with curiosity, innovation and dignity.

Why is it that we need you? Why can no other country fill this quarterback role?

Well, one reason is your military capacity, which makes you the only country that can effectively take on the role of the Guardian. This will not change for decades to come.

The other reason is your culture and history as a democratically evolving nation. You started off as a nation to provide yourself, you the citizens, with a freer and more just society. For more than two centuries, you’ve continually evolved to becoming more free and more just. It is therefore not a question which country is best suited to be the role model for the evolutionary process of our small planetary society; there simply IS no other country (yet) that has the necessary track record. Your head start measures generations. This is one of the many reasons, why you are an exceptional nation.

You are far from being a perfect quarterback. But you’re the only one we’ve got. And we need you. We need you to get in shape ASAP. Desperately.

A world quarterback who’s in shape would focus on building on his strengths and on compensating for his weaknesses rather than squandering his strengths and feed his weaknesses. Listing your strengths will constitute the love part of the letter.

Let me iterate that I believe that you are an exceptional country. And I love so many things about you.

You have been the first country to center its purpose on giving everyone the opportunity to pursue happiness.

For more than two hundred years, you have continually worked hard to expand this everyone to include more and more parts of the population and afford them more and more equal rights and opportunities.

You have decided to spare no human and material costs to prevent Hitler-Germany from winning World War II. I cannot fathom what the world would look like today if you hadn’t come to help Europe. As a German, I feel especially thankful. In my family, when I grew up, criticism of your country was often frowned upon, especially if it came across as disrespectful. Keep in mind, they freed us from Nazism was standard commentary.

There is only one country that protected the world from being enslaved by communist or fascist or another totalitarian ideology: The United States of America.

I could make this a very long list ;-). Bear with my awe-inspired compliments just for three more thoughts:

You have developed an extraordinarily rewarding culture of public service, especially in the communities. In your history, communities, towns and villages could typically not rely on federal or state agencies to provide services, or on a local lord for that matter. Your ancestors needed to do everything themselves. They needed to decide democratically what to do and how to do it and they developed democratically acceptable systems how to execute their decisions. The systems and processes that evolved from there have become part of your identity; most Americans seem to have a natural understanding of how they work and how they as individuals can become part of these processes if they want to. Nearly all other democracies in the world, which have evolved out of authoritarian systems only in the twentieth century, have not had that cultural learning experience over many generations. And because of that, public service and democratic processes are often not regarded as highly as they are in your country. We accept them as necessary but we haven’t really developed love or pride for them.

Then, there’s your legendary regard for entrepreneurial spirit. It is not just the societal respect for the