America is a place with a wide variety of people. We have people from all parts of the globe, each with their own separate experiences. With each experience comes a different set of beliefs and a different set of reasons to be in the U.S. But what ties everyone together is the idea that America is filled with dreams. The American Creed shows us that there are many interpretations of the American Dream, and chasing your American dream is what makes people American. Some of these paths include serving in the military, self-improvement, and community service.
First off, we have Condoleezza Rice, who was the former secretary of state for the United States. She started her life in Birmingham, Alabama during the time of the Jim Crow laws, which caused her to face racism at an early age. It is likely that her experience with racism is what led her to go down the political path. Racism and segregation were nearly unavoidable, except if you were educated. Rice stated that education became a way for people of color to shield themselves against segregation. By doing well in school, she was able to deflect racism and build a sizable career for herself. In her case, the American dream was to make life better for herself and the next generation. She is American because she is going through school and giving it her all; she is carving a path to her American dream.
Another example of an American is Tegan Griffith. She comes from a family who has served for 3 generations. Naturally, she also decided to take up military service. She had the dangerous job of being a bullet catcher after joining the Marine Corp. Her family lives in a rural town in Wisconsin, and Griffith went on to say that they had to work for everything they had and that her family isn’t all too wealthy. Her American dream pertains to military service. She is American because she follows her American dream by enlisting. This is also drastically different from Rice, because Rice focused on education and family, while Griffith is more focused on service and freedom. This highlights how although people follow different paths, they are all American because they are taking advantage of the opportunity in the land of opportunity.
One final example of an American is Joe Maddon. His grandfather was a coal miner and his father was a plumber. Maddon emphasizes that he did not want to be a plumber when he grew up. So he made a career as a sports manager. He has similar values to the other people in this essay. Maddon values family and individual freedom. But he also places his focus on the community. He believes that a community should be united. For that reason, he created the Hazleton Integration Project, to bring people together despite a huge social divide through sports. Community and family are closely related. Just like his father granted him the freedom and ability to fulfill his potential, Maddon is actively helping other people to fulfill their potential, just like passing on the baton.
In conclusion, what it means to be American is pursuing a goal. The American dream is whatever you make of it. Whether the dream is making it rich, serving in the military, or making life better for the next generation, it's all American. That is what I believe American Creed conveyed.