In 1907, Theodore Roosevelt said, “‘In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language.. And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.’ 

These words by Teddy Roosevelt, though 103 years old, are still pertinent today. They are not weakened with a “But..” nor explanations, nor a laundry list of exceptions, they make their point evenly, cleanly and deliberately. They drive home the point, that in America, ALL  are welcomed within our shores with open arms. ALL have the same rights, privileges, duties and responsibilities.  Every right has a corresponding duty, every privilege, a responsibility.

It is not overbearing to expect people from other countries to learn and speak the English language. If a person deems it too difficult to learn the language where he will live, then it is probably too difficult to understand the laws which he is expected to abide by. If the person does not have the energy nor desire to learn the language and ways of the American people, then that person will probably wind up being a burden on the American people.

Americans, from their inception, have always strived for ways to overcome obstacles, to create better ways of living, to ensure a richness in their culture that their offspring would be proud. Today, those ideas have become weakened. They have been replaced with attitudes that take. but do not create. The people of today don’t seem to care about what can or should be done. Today, the banner is “What is in it for me?” Care about self above all else, can only lead to a society of ONE.

We MUST find respect for ourselves. We MUST see ourselves as, or strive to be, respectable. If we don’t respect ourselves, then it will be impossible to respect others, to respect our country. How can we build a greater country, if it is not founded on respect? If we hold ourselves, our fellow citizens, our country with the highest regard, then we will practice and foster rules and regulations that thrive on dignity. If you want to live here, learn our language. As was said at the outset, this is not derogatory to the people wishing entry, it is setting the standard for them, letting them know how dearly we hold this country.

This respect of oneself can only be possessed, if we become a more Godly people. There is no room for “ME above all else”. That puts us above God. That points us away from God. Deep in our hearts, do we really feel that we are doing the right thing, when we seek only our good, our pleasure, our wishes? One time, today, do something for someone else, something that we really don’t want to do, but know it really will help the other person immensely. That one time,  we stop putting ourselves first. That one time we have turned our heads and glanced up at the face of God. It is only when we begin to respect who we are, what we do, what we have become, then, and only then, do we have the right to tell others  what we expect from them.

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