What does "American" mean to you? Recent events have made me more humble about being an American. I acknowledge, though, that when the vast majority of the world criticizes Americans, they are actually referring to American leaders and U.S. policy, not individual Americans or their democracy. I am ashamed and troubled, however, when our political system bestows extreme destructive power into the hands of reckless bullies. I am more proud, however, that I am given the right to dissent, live free and wage peace with humankind (and the universe in general) in what has proved to be the country I love.