I drove down the street close to my friend’s school and could not help but smile as we went down the street and stopped at the numerous traffic lights. Each street was a new adventure, and was like entering a whole new world. People bustled in and out of the stores, scurried through the crosswalks and stopped to exchange words with each other. Each direction I looked at had a new set of symbols and letters. The world was represented in those streets, not just America, but literally the entire world. The Botanica Boricua sat directly next to the Langano Ethiopian restaurant; both of which had families coming and going with ease. Another street down was strewn with Thai, Japanese, and Chinese restaurants laid around a Korean Karaoke bar full of happy loud revelers. I could not keep track of the sights, sounds and fantastic smells that hit me from every possible corner of that street. It dawned on me in that moment, something that has always been present around me, the positive direction and future of this country and its varied people.
We are the world, we are the nation on the hill and I believe in our exceptionalism. I make no excuses for this belief, and I stand proud of our trajectory. Despite the many fears and problems the world faces, America has not changed its values with respect to encouraging and managing our diversity, growth and understanding. America is the single most inclusive nation in the history of the world, and we share that inclusiveness and pride in exceptionalism with every individual that comes to create a life here. This inclusiveness coupled with the diversity of our nation is our key for success. This has been our key in the past and will continue to carry us into the future. All those who come here view this country as home and strive for its perfection and success. America failing is not an option because for America to fail, means the world fails. With the help of every citizen America is able to draw knowledge and strength that brings the entire world and its history to converge in one nation. I’m optimistic because I know that this diversity has helped us create innovation in every sector possible and advance the world in unimaginable ways. There is no slowing to this trend, and I see only upward mobility for America, its people and its place in the world. Our continuous belief in helping ourselves by helping others has created a country full of leaders, Samaritans and innovators unmatched in the world. I am proud that these individuals are the foundation of this country and that this foundation is indestructible.
I’m optimistic about America’s future because our future is inexplicably tied to the future of the entire world and I feel that America is the best country to live in. My optimism is neither childish nor short-sighted, it is steeped in the history of the nation I am proud to call my home. Through my eyes we are on the right track and it is because of what I see every single day that I can say this with the utmost confidence. We may have bumps and we may have hiccups, but these only strengthen us and strengthen my resolve in our future and the stability we bring to the world. My sentiment is shared by millions of people all over the world who dream of becoming a part of our future and fabric. And the people of this country, with open arms, and open hearts, welcome the world into the ever growing American family every single day. How is it possible that anyone can be a part of a nation so diverse, so varied and strong, and not feel anything short of pure love and optimism in its past present and future?