Embrace Your Identity
You don't have to fit the American name to be an American. Let your creed show your identity.
Op-Ed: What Is Your American Creed?
The American Creed is a statement of the defining element of American identity. One of my American Creeds is to become the best version of myself and to bring the best out in others. As a teenager living in America, my teen creed is to not let my parents down. As well as to be humble enough to obey.
To illustrate, coming from a Guatemalan-Mexican-American family, as well as being the oldest of three, I am looked to to have a higher standing and more responsibility. I have to be more Guatemalan than the Guatemalans, more Mexican than the Mexicans and more American than the Americans. Since my dad is Guatemalan, he is very strict. He expects more of me in all things that I do, always stating that if something isn’t a certain way that I'll bring shame to the family. Your American Creed is associated with your core essential values.
T'haa k'ap'p'ii b'een piikyr reen layk aa b'alunh. The sentence is written in the primary language of Guatemalans. Different languages may be considered a ‘threat’ for many who do not know how to speak it. I speak Mam/Mayan languages at home and even in public. I want others to comprehend that it is okay to be different. That it is okay to come from somewhere foreign and make a way for yourself in America. My American Creed is that identity here in America is key, and to help enlighten fellow Americans pursue their American Creed because anything is achievable with hard work, dedication and the desire to succeed.
At length, isn’t that what America is? To be able to achieve one’s desires because America is the land of the free, the land of opportunity and the land to be whoever you choose to be? I recall one day when I was out with my dad, a caucasian male approached us. Talking to us as if we were babies or perhaps animals. We questioned his way of approach and I remember vividly him stating, “oh--you guys speak english?” That experience made me adjust my American creed towards the knowledge that I have an identity that some may view as other. In America, there are many challenges. But overcoming those challenges falls in the decision of how you react to certain events and what you will take away from key moments in whatever challenges you will come to face.
To conclude, what does it mean to be an American? The name means that “anyone can live here--men and women from all over the world.” “It is peculiarly easy to become an American.” When by law, it can take five years max to become an American citizen. The idea of creating your personalized goal, desire, something you work towards. But this time, your American Creed is your slogan, your daily reminder of what and who you are or who you can be.