“To me, the American Dream is being able to follow your own personal calling. To be able to do what you want to do is incredible freedom.”
Saturday is America’s Independence Day — a time to celebrate the country that has offered its citizens unprecedented opportunity for advancement and success for 239 years.
The term “American dream” is used in many ways, but is essentially the idea that everyone in the US has the potential to lead a happy, successful life and can succeed through hard work1.
According to About.com, The American Dream was first publicly defined in 1931 by James Truslow Adams in Epic of America. Adams’ often-repeated quote is, “The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.”2
With: hard work, ability, and achievement
You get: potential, opportunity, chance for, but not the guarantee of
These: success, happiness, and a better, richer, fuller life
America is a country that provides opportunity for a richer, fuller life in exchange for hard work, ability, and achievement. What can Americans do to show appreciation for our country, while also improving the likelihood of achieving a happy, successful life?
Here’s what I recommend to my children, friends, neighbors, and community as we celebrate and honor the American Dream on our country’s birthday:
- Finish your education
- Find (or create) a good job… even if you have to move… even if you have to move often
- Work hard and be as self-reliant as you can
- Take care of your health, wellness, and finances
- Become an informed and active citizen
- Wait to have children until after you finish school, have a good job, and are married
- Love and care for your family
- Be a role model for your children
- Raise informed and active citizens
- Support local schools and businesses
- Keep your home, neighborhood, and city safe and clean
- Be charitable — give what you can when you can
- Be a role model of kindness and responsibility for your neighbors and colleagues
- Elect leaders who believe in freedom, prosperity, and the American Dream
- Express gratitude for the freedoms and opportunities granted to American citizens
- Show appreciation for our military and first responders who keep us safe
- Be a supportive patriot… ROAR for America
- Take every advantage offered by the American Dream
- Show others how to follow dreams and turn inspiration into action
- Be entrepreneurial… be creative… be innovative
- Live without arrogance or apology
- Blaze a trail for others to follow
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