I asked my kids what they thought the most important American Value was, trying to get a feel for what kids thought about these sort of things, and they both gave me the same answer: Good Works, BUT… They both meant something different by it. So I will address both in this post:
When my daughter talks about Good Works, she means the Biblical kind:
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16
America truly does shine before men in good works. In dollars, Americans give more than any other nation. This stays true in per capita income. In donation of time, blood and money, no one leads Americans and the charitable organizations that come out of America like the Red Cross, which leads me to the Good Works my son was talking about. He meant
There are few places in the world where you can be relatively certain that if you work hard, you will get ahead. This is why millions of immigrants make their way to America and why so many are willing to work under the table, in the shadows, just for the opportunity to be given to their children to benefit from their hard work. It’s something everyone sees when they watch a show that is American or they buy a product that is American. It is ‘shiny.’
Either way you look at it, a child’s perspective religiously, or from a capitalist point of view, America knows how to value Good Works. That is one value that so many of us have in common, and if we can preserve it as the Bible suggests, men will see it and not only glorify our father in Heaven, but this beautiful country he has given us in which to shine forth.