I owe America a debt of gratitude as the birthplace of all things possible. As such, Joey Pickens and Marguerite Madden ( daughter of Maryland State Senator Martin G. Madden, uncle Marty) travelled from the United States to Brussels for 37 hours door to door to attend the launch event of the Handy Concept for Connecting People. When they missed their connecting flight ✈️ in Frankfurt they nonetheless kept barging forward and decided to take a speed train to Brussels. So did Nadine E. Kotto who was travelling from Abidjan and missed her Thalys train twice in Paris to Brussels but kept galloping forward. In a nutshell, they epitomized my love story with America. One of a never-ending warm embrace, open arms, enduring friendship and limitless possibilities. America is the only place on earth where I have ever felt truly loved cherished and respected. My first internship was in New U ok ok, my first consultancy and my first job in the Big Apple. My son was born in Manhattan and my daughter rose for The first time on Long Island. That unique home feel is seldom felt anywhere but in Makak Cameroon. They all stayed overnight to encourage and comfort me. These acts of kindness and genuine humanity are the small things that make this life worth living. A heartfelt thank you from the bottom of my Heart. “The idea that the United States is an “exceptional country,” one that is fundamentally different from all others, has been widespread, especially since the presidency of Ronald Reagan. He often quoted the Puritan leader John Winthrop’s description of America as a shining “city on a hill,” an example for other countries to follow. The Scottish political scientist Richard Rose wrote, shortly after the Reagan presidency, that “America marches to a different drummer. Its uniqueness is explained by any or all of a variety of reasons: history, size, geography, political institutions, and culture. Explanations of the growth of government in Europe are not expected to fit American experience and vice versa.” In the 1830s Alexis de Tocqueville used the word exceptional only once but pointed out the many ways that the United States was very different from European countries and predicted, correctly, that still largely autocratic and aristocratic Europe would evolve toward America’s democratic system, not the other way around. In the 1920s, American Communists noted that this country was simply not like other countries and therefore was an exception to Marx’s theories. Joseph Stalin then chastised them about this “American exceptionalism,” apparently the first use of the exact phrase.” John Steele Gordon

Joey Pickens and Marguerite Madden

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