Jeff Mullin / columnist

The average American owes $2,900 in credit card debt, lives within three miles of a McDonald's and within two miles of a public park.

The average American is better off financially than his or her parents, but earns no more than $75,000 per year.

The average American believes in God and the literal truth of the Bible, but holds some view traditional churches have deemed sacrilegious.

The average American generates four pounds of trash per day and 1,460 pounds per year.

The average American has traces of 13 pesticides in his or her body. The average American over age 15 sleeps about 8.6 hours a day, spends 5.1 hours engaged in leisure and sports activities, works 3.7 hours and spends 1.8 hours doing household activities. The average American spends the remaining 4.8 hours eating, drinking, going to school and shopping.

The average American wastes 14 percent of his or her food purchases. The average American owns a computer connected to the Internet. The average American watches more than four hours of television per day.

The average American is an inch taller and 25 pounds heavier than in the 1960s. The average American owns 1.7 guns. The average American spends 619 minutes per month on a cell phone.

The average American walks about 400 yards per day. The average American consumes 2,750 calories per day. The average American reports feeling sad three days out of every month.

The average American has 2.3 children. The average American has a little more than $30,000 in an individual retirement account. The average American spends more than $250,000 on automobiles in a lifetime.

The average American consumes 24 pounds of candy per year. The average American eats 35,000 cookies in a lifetime. The average American claims to be patriotic and a lover of democracy, but doesn't vote in elections and can only name both of their state's senators about half the time.

But there are no average Americans. We are as unique as snowflakes, as individual as our fingerprints or DNA.

We are white, black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian or a calabash of cultures and backgrounds.

We speak English, Spanish, French, Creole, Cajun, Italian, Portuguese German, Yiddish, Greek, Russian, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Armenian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Marshalese, Navajo, Hungarian, Arabic, Hebrew or one of dozens of other tongues.

We are Christians, Jews, Muslim, Buddhist, Unitarian, Hindu, Scientologist, Baha'i, Taoist, new age, Eckankar, Rastafarian, Sikh, Wiccan, Druid, Pagan, atheist, agnostic or secular humanist.

We live in large cities and small villages, in high-rise condominiums or 100-year-old farmhouses. We are college graduates, we are high school dropouts. We are married, single, straight and gay. We live in splendor, we dwell in poverty.

We are Republicans, Democrats or one of a dozen minor political groups. We are pro-life and pro-choice.

We complain about taxes, we complain about the weather, we complain about our government.

We make fun of ourselves and our leaders, but get our backs up if people from other countries make fun of us.

We will go halfway around the world to fight a war, but won't go down the block to vote in a local election.

We hate to ask for help, but always are first in line to offer assistance to someone else in need. We are loud, brash, confident and generally viewed as trend-chasing buffoons in much of the world.

Why, then, is it always the trend-chasing buffoons the world looks to when it needs help?

"Americans," Gen. Douglas MacArthur once said, "never quit."

Never have, never will.

The average American? Shoot, there's nothing average about us.



Mullin is senior writer of the News -- Eagle.



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