America is not a country… it is an idea.

I spent the end of this week in Washington DC attending and speaking at a Direct Selling Association conference. There were interesting speakers and valuable information, but the most memorable quote from the week came from an American immigrant, the CEO of a direct selling company not unlike Jewel Kade who reminded us in her thick German accent of the quote:

“America is not a country; it is an idea.”

She went on to say, “you can live all your life in France and never become French, but you can live in America for 3 years and be an American.”

I’ve lived in or near Washington DC twice, and worked on the Hill one summer as an Intern in the United States Senate. I love coming back to this town, and the site of the White House (no matter its occupant) and the Capital always stirs my gratitude to be an American.

My “idea” of what is America no doubt differs from that of many who are my friends, and there are many moments during my life when I have had angst about what America is becoming. Despite those differences, my worldwide travels have locked deeply into the center of my soul the fact that I am glad to be an American.

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