“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do” - Nelson Mandela.
This quote is something that I always try to apply to my life and in many ways, it summarizes my own personal "American Creed". Growing up, the values that were instilled in me were keeping faith, perseverance, and to always believe in yourself. To me having faith always meant believing and having trust in everything you do regardless of the mistakes you make along the way and despite those mistakes or failures, never give up.
While watching the film American Creed, hearing Condoleeza Rice talk about having the power to rise above your starting status while still respecting where you come from reminded me of conversations I would have with people like my aunt and grandmother growing up. Hearing their childhood memories, their struggles, their success, and their overall experience has always inspired me as a child. Those particular conversations also taught me how to obtain a strong mindset. In my family, one of our traditions is setting a goal and doing everything that we can to reach it. “Never rely on your backup plan to catch you if you fall. If you already have that kind of mindset, you don’t truly believe you can 100 percent reach that goal”, my grandmother would tell me. While raising me, my family has drilled in me the idea of not being able to choose your starting point but to always persevere and push forward to complete whatever goal you have in mind.
Keeping faith, persevering, and believing in myself has always helped me through hard times in my life whether it be my family life, education, or just life in general. I believe having these values has shaped the way my family connects with society. I think being able to express yourself and sharing your experience can make a difference, the same way it did for me while listening to old stories family members would tell at cookouts and celebrations. Learning to have trust in the things we do or knowing how to continue in the face of adversity are things that I believe our nation can benefit from. Having those qualities will prevent the people in our nation from failing, giving up, or just not believing they're good enough to move forward or to continue. This is my American creed, rising above your status and starting point and becoming what you want to be by believing in yourself, keeping your faith, and never giving up.