America is a country that has been a home to many different cultures and heritages. Many immigrants have chosen America because of the freedoms and opportunities to have a family and start a new life here. With the freedoms that America provides and the many opportunities we should try to make a life and future that we can be proud of. We should be active citizens in this country by using our right to vote.
Many people don’t vote in the United States elections. A recent study done by PBS shows that 53 percent of eligible voters in the U.S. cast ballots in 2012. There are no certain reasons as to why voting has decreased. Voting percentages can vary depending on the state your in and where you vote. According to an article by PBS on voting depression, “Many states with the lowest turnout are dominated by the Republican Party in the South, where restrictive laws can hamper participation.” In 2016 alone, at least 14 states in America have installed restrictive voting laws, including limitations on voting registration, photo ID mandates, and narrower time limits on early voting. These are just some of the things that could have lead to the decrease in voting percentages.
America has opportunities. Many people immigrate here for job opportunities. What makes the jobs so good in our country is the fact that there is equal opportunity for all to be able to get a job, no matter what race or background. According to Leila Janah, a speaker in the PBS documentary American Creed and CEO of the Sama Corporation, the most important American value is “Equal opportunity. I think that’s one of the cornerstones of our identity as a nation.” This means that everyone in the United States has the same opportunity for success. It just depends on the effort you put into your life, some put more into it than others which leads to their greater success.
Joe Maddon, the general manager of the Chicago Cubs and speaker in the American Creed film, said, “I didn’t want to be a plumber like my grandpa and father and my dad knew that. He knew how hard it was for my grandpa and didn’t want it to be that hard for me.” Maddon’s goal is to do something different with his life than his grandpa and father, but he doesn’t forget his background and what they did with their lives. They lived a hard and good life but it just wasn’t the life that he wanted so he decided to make his own life. Maddon’s dad and grandpa all had worked as plumbers, it was the family business. Being a plumber wasn’t what he had in mind for his future though. He decided to set a goal for himself to become something other than a plumber, but he didn’t forget his heritage and the past accomplishments and struggles his father and grandfather went through. He is making his own American dream, even though he came from a past with relatives who were plumbers he reinvented himself. He changed his future while still remembering how he got there.
Tegan Griffin, a Marine veteran and speaker in the American Creed film, says, “Freedom is a main part of the American dream. This allows people to have the ability to have freedom to make their own future.” We all have some sort of background, everyone's is different. We must not forget our past but we also shouldn’t let them hold us back from making our own future. The American dream is based on the fact that we all have individual liberty which means that we have the ability to reinvent ourselves no matter what our past is or where we came from. Condoleezza Rice the main speaker from American Creed says, “Individuals make their own history, it doesn’t matter where you came from but where you're going.” You could have a terrible background, but that doesn’t mean your future can’t be better. You can pick yourself up and reinvent your life. You have the freedom and ability to make your future how you want it to be. That’s part of what makes America so great, is the chance to make your own way through life.
Mark Meckler, founder of the Tea Party Patriots and a speaker in American Creed, says, “The freedom to reinvent yourself is the root to the American dream.” This is a bold statement, but very accurate. If we didn’t have the freedom that we have in America, then not as many people would want to live here. The freedom that we have in the United States makes it such a great country. No matter what your past is, where you came from, what your heritage is, that can’t hold you back. There is always a chance for you to create your own American dream. Self esteem is an important factor when you are creating your own life for yourself. As Maddon believes, “If you don’t have self esteem many things intimidate you.” This can put a stopper on reinventing yourself.
America is such a great country because you can make your own future, so take advantage of that great freedom. Create your own life, strive to find your own happiness even if you didn’t come from such a happy background. The rich are not the only ones who get rich. They had to start somewhere. They didn’t make their fortune in a day, it takes time and hardwork to create a rich and full life, so start working towards it, but don’t forget where you came from and your past and the struggles and hard work that lead you to where you are now.