Who Is The Average American?

If you Google “Average American”  Your search results will start with:




So…Is it all about money?  What makes a person qualify for this club?  Is it your ancestry?  Unless you’re a Native American, we all come from somewhere else.  Is it our religious background?  Here, you are promised religious freedom, and the ability to worship the way you want to, or not at all.  These days, that assertion would be challenged by many.

Some would say that the average American has a certain cultural ideology, but I’m not sure that the “average” person in America would pass that test either. Members of political parties feel that their party is the special one… the one that represents the average American.  How many people have you “unfriended” for opposing views in this crazy time election?  I’m talking about social media, and real life.

Why can’t we feel, on average, the sense of unity and patriotism that we felt on September 12, 2001?  Does it take that magnitude of tragedy to us to move us to the realization that we are all on a journey together as Americans?  Let’s just make up our minds to feel that emotional about our country everyday, without going through such a great loss.  It seems that we have built this great club…this community, and now we have decided we don’t like it or want to be in it. At least not with “them.” Our country’s motto, “E pluribus unum” translates to “Out of many, one.” We’re not meant to be the same, but to work together.

Where do you stand?  Are you an average American?  Has the description turned into an advertising ploy?  Did the “Average American” get lost in the “Good Old Days”?

How I Fell In Love With Tony

My friend Tony, who works at my nail salon, gives me a reality check and a great leg massage at the same time.  He loves to talk while he’s practicing his art, and we’ve had some great conversations.

One day, he started our exchange of ideas by telling me that he “Loves being in America.”  In addition to his day job at the nail salon, he goes to the community college and studies computer science.  Tony loves talking to customers, and to people in general, because it affords him the opportunity to work on his English language skills.  They all speak Vietnamese at his home here with his Uncle and Cousin.

There was a particular time that he told me of the experience he had on his first day in America…his new country.  Tony stepped onto American soil in California, filled with awe and anticipation.  He was really hungry, and couldn’t wait to eat a cheeseburger.  He went so far as to go to the fast food restaurant.  He had a twenty dollar bill in his hand.  The thing is, that twenty dollar bill was all the money he had in his new country.  He really, really wanted that cheeseburger, but he knew that he just couldn’t swing it.  So he went hungry for a while, eating frugally until he saved up enough to buy a cheeseburger.

He’s a naturalized US citizen now, and can eat a cheeseburger when he wants to.  When he went for his interview to gain his citizenship, they asked him if he loved the United States. He told them “Of course I love America, that’s why I couldn’t wait to get here!  I love America!”

If you were born in the good old U.S.A.,  then you probably take the good things about being an American for granted.  I know I do.  It’s easy to get caught up in the cynicism.  It’s easy to get annoyed by 24 hour election coverage, especially when a lot of people don’t like their choice of candidates.  I just can’t imagine going any place else in the world with the equivalent of twenty dollars and making a go of it.

I’m so glad to be an American, and I feel so blessed to have Tony as a friend!

  • Cat