American Creed is the defining element of American identity, first formulated by Thomas Jefferson, and elaborated on by many others. The five things Jefferson originally spoke about were; liberty, equality, individualism, populism, and laissez-faire. Nevertheless, throughout time, American Creed has evolved. From our early creation, we have been supportive of others trying to seek opportunities in the United States. I view American Creed as something unique to you, your family, your community, or your country. My creed is the support system that has been built up around me. I receive this support from my teachers and family, who have pushed me to be the best version of myself every day.
I am a student who cares tremendously about my grades. Frequently, I will overlook the importance of the material if it means getting an A. At times this year when I find myself struggling to understand an assignment or to complete tasks, my support system is always present. Multiple times this year, I have gone to my English teacher, Mrs. Neary for help. Every time I step into her office, I am greeted with a smile and a face eager to help. Each time I have gone in to ask for assistance, she has always helped answer my questions and steer me toward the path of success. For instance, back in the very beginning of the year, we were working on our first big writing assignment (Dividing Lines Essay) and I was having a tremendous amount of angst and worry. I walked into her office feeling scared, but I came out prepared to conquer the assignment with no hesitation. Mrs. Neary helped me realize to do well, I must slow down and think, learn to absorb information differently. By working more diligently, I have been able to put the anxiety regarding my grades aside and have been able to get a full grasp on the expectations of each assignment. Without her aid and guidance, I would have never been able to persevere over my mountain of fear and feel confident about the work I produce. These moments make me feel a sense of my American identity because I know my teachers will always have my back while I reach for new heights.
The second place in which I receive a massive amount of support is from my family. I fully understand not every day is going to be the best day of my life, and some days are just not going to go my way. However, whenever I am upset about my day, I always end up leaving the dinner table a lot happier. The dinner table is a safe haven for me and my family, a place where we eat together and discuss the events which took place throughout the day. The dining room table is a place where judgement is nonexistent and comfortability is encouraged. I believe I have learned a great deal from our dining room conversations and have also learned to lean on the pillars of my family for support. This is my American Creed because of the immense value I have placed in those who care and assist me every day.
When mulling over the idea of American Creed, my dad succinctly defined his version of it as, “A good support system is made up of a group of people willing to listen carefully and give you truthful advice even if it isn’t the advice you want to here. I think as a family we have built an incredible support system.” (Gornbein) I think this is true and at times when I want advice from my family they do not always give the advice I am expecting to hear nor wanting to hear, but rather the advice that is in my best interest.
I asked my brother Chase, a 21-year-old student at Emory University, “how did our family impact you during high school?” He responded, “Our family was always supportive and helpful to me during any situation. I felt like I got the most support at the dinner table because everyone was judge free and just wanted to see me thrive.” (Gornbein). My brother graduated from high school four years ago, but still remembers the support system he received when we sat and had dinner together. It truly is amazing how the dinner table still serves as a support system for me. The endless amount of assistance from my family has enabled me to feel confident in myself and conquer any issue or obstacle in my path.
Sue Shellenbarger, an author for the Wall Street Journal, reflects on a 2015 study published in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience and states, “It is not too late for warm, supportive parents to make a difference. The closeness to parents included having parents’ respect and help to talk through problems”(Shellenbarger,2016). My parents have done a wonderful job crafting a support system for our entire family. As a result, my growth as a teenager has been tremendous because I know I can always count on my family for support and to talk to.
My American Creed entirely originates from my many support systems, emerging directly from my teachers and family. I feel fortunate to have had this influence because I know that every family doesn’t have this dynamic. Without my family, I can say with the utmost confidence I would not be the self-assured and bold person I am today. Likewise, my teachers have always fostered my strong work ethic in the classroom. They have been there to challenge me, but also to help me throughout the journey. Mrs. Neary has supported me this entire year and has helped guide me into learning an incredible amount about myself as a student and a person. She has shaped me to be a better student. I am forever thankful for my family, Mrs. Neary, and my other teachers for helping me discover the necessity of a support system to become the best version of myself.
American Creed. Narrated by Condoleezza Rice and David M. Kennedy, PBS, 27 Feb. 2018.
Azerrad, David. "The Declaration of Independence and the American Creed." The Heritage Foundation, 3 June 2013, www.heritage.org/political-process/commentary/the-declaration-independence-and-the-american-creed. Accessed 8 June 2019.
Gornbein, Logan. “Interview with Dave”(June 3, 2019)
Gornbein, Logan. “Interview with Chase”(June 4, 2019)
Shellenbarger, Sue. "What Teens Need Most From Their Parents." The Wall Street Journal, 9 Aug. 2016. The Wall Street Journal, www.wsj.com/articles/what-teens-need-most-from-their-parents-1470765906. Accessed 8 June 2019.
W., Kate. "The Value of Family." Americancreed.org, writingourfuture.nwp.org/americancreed/responses/928-the-value-of-family. Accessed 8 June 2019.