EDITOR'S NOTE: Jonathon Dunne is an Irishman with a lifelong dream of becoming an American citizen. After waiting for over 13 years, Dunne received a job offer from Glenn Beck so he could achieve his dream, but unfortunately, he did not meet the requirements to apply for a visa. Unless laws change or Dunne decides to break the law (he won't), his American dream is dead. Despite this setback, he still loves America and seeks to be a positive influence on society by promoting the idea of America and God-given freedoms. While on a recent vacation, Dunne delivered sixteen presentations (for free) in eight different states across the U.S. During this time, he kept notes and we asked him to share some of his experiences. As you read the column below, imagine the words are being spoken in a thick, Irish accent. If you're having trouble imagining how that sounds, you can hear it for yourself by tuning into Dunne's free weekly podcast, "Freedom's Disciple," on TheBlaze Radio, available on SoundCloud, iTunes, iHeart Radio, Google Play and Stitcher.
If you ever want to see America at its greatest, all you have to do is look for a disaster (anywhere in the world) and chances are you will see some American involvement. The world witnessed this when the Southern United States suffered major hurricanes and, once again, ordinary American people stepped up with both time and money.
If you have ever listened to my show on TheBlaze, you will notice I always finish my show the exact same way — by sharing the sentiments of Alexis de Tocqueville:
America is GREAT because Americans are GOOD.
I share this for many reasons, but the main one is to remind everyone who listens that the success or failure of America will always be in the hands of her people. Being blunt, the day America stops being good is the day the nation is lost forever.
On my recent trip across the United States, I met with so many amazing people who shared stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. I will never forget meeting an individual (who asked to remain nameless) and their story of helping during the cleanup in Houston. This individual was not some millionaire or billionaire, in fact, they recently had their electricity cut off. It would have been very easy and totally justifiable for this person to believe that charity starts at home and that they had to focus on getting themselves back on their feet.
That is not what happened. This individual got large drums, filled them with gas and drove down to Houston to deliver them to people in need. What amazed me most about this person was their humility, selflessness, hope for the future and belief that tomorrow is a new day.
I also believe that if someone had found out about this person’s situation and given them some money towards their electric bill, they would have either not taken it, or taken it and bought more gas for the people in Houston.
Over the years, I have met many people who would literally give you the coat off their shoulders so you could be warm. I have seen people donate huge sums of money, but the stories that always hit me the most are those of people donating their time and effort — rich or poor we all only have 24 hours in a day. I have been very blessed in my life to never really be in a situation where I needed someone’s time and energy. That changed on this trip.
I was coming towards the end of my trip and about to spend a week in Texas. I was due to fly into Austin, drive to Fredericksburg for an event, then down to Houston for another event and then drive back to Dallas for a couple of events and spend some time with Glenn Beck and the team. It was all planned, booked and paid for well in advance.
I arrived in Austin as planned, but the car company messed up my reservation and could not hire me a car. They had no other cars available. I tried every other car rental company in the airport without success. To say I was upset would be an understatement. All I wanted was a solution to get to the event, but every option I considered was blocked. I hate letting people down and it was looking like I was going to let a lot of folks down.
I was stuck in Austin airport with no car, no access to the internet and no answers. I gave up and decided to get a cab to the hotel I was staying at and hopefully, with internet access find some answers. I checked into the hotel and was determined to find a solution. I was looking for a car for over 10 days so maybe that was the problem? Nope. Maybe it was only Austin airport that had no cars? Nope. I searched for car hire for one day in all of Austin and this is what came up:
I have traveled a lot and that is something I had never seen. I then forgot about cars and sought out other forms of public transport but none would get me to the events in time. I had one chance left and that was to go to my Facebook family and see if anyone could help me or provide me some advice. I was really desperate and honestly was not sure what to expect.
I received nothing short of a miracle. Within a couple of hours, not only were my problems solved, but I had multiple offers. One of my friends, Caroline, stepped up and offered to collect me from my hotel and drive me from Austin to my hotel in Fredericksburg. I had reached out to the events and let them know of my problems and the folks in Fredericksburg picked me up from my hotel, brought me to the event, and then took me out for dinner and back to the hotel that night. It was truly Southern hospitality at its best.
However, by far, the biggest hero in this story is a new friend called Joel. He drove from his house near Waco, picked me up in Fredericksburg the next morning and drove me all the way to the airport in Dallas where I had a choice of any car I wanted. He then had to drive (in Dallas rush hour traffic) back to Waco.
The only sad part about this disaster was the fact I did not get down to Houston, where I was due to give a presentation to Young Americans for Liberty. But not everything was lost. Their amazing director came up with a plan. The event went ahead as planned and I gave the presentation via Facebook Live (technology is wonderful), and was able to answer all of their questions from the comments in the video.
This is the America I know I love and a prime example of when people are at their best. I don’t ever want to be in that situation again, but I am so honored to know I received a miracle during my visit. I can only hope every American never forgets what makes them exceptional.
America is great because Americans are good!
Screenshot / YouTube