Use your voice and get to know your government better.

 So many people think that America is the greatest country in the world, but not many have good evidence to back that up. So what would make America the greatest country in the world? The freedom? The values? The opportunities? The dream? What is the American Dream anyways? Well, for everyone it is different. For some immigrants just being in America might be their American Dream. For a high school graduate, it might be free college and a prosperous career and for me it’s exactly that. In the documentary American Creed, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stated, “It doesn’t matter where you come from, it matters where you’re going.” I think this really hits the heart of the “American Dream” because it speaks to everyone from any background. She is talking about rich and/or poor individuals. She is speaking to immigrants and citizens. She is tell anyone and everyone that they can do anything.

The important parts of the American Dream to Rice is education, diversity, equal opportunity, unity, persistence, and of course your own dreams. I think my favorite part of the American Creed documentary is that even if the speakers had different views, they all still felt the same way about America and the famous “American Dream." Another quote from the documentary American Creed is from founder of Sworn Again America, Eric Liu, who said, “Because we have a great diversity in American life, you have to ask yourself, what is it that holds us together? And what holds us together is a creed and that creed to me is not just a bunch of legalistic principles. That creed operates at the gut and the heart, at least as much as at the level of the head and it is truly a civic religion.” This is significant because a creed is a set of beliefs that guide all our actions and that is what makes Americans, American. We all have beliefs or standards that are important to each of us. Although they may not be the same values or beliefs we are all united in the fact that we want what we think is best for American and it’s citizens.

For example, Susan B. Anthony fought for women's rights in the same way Martin Luther King Jr. fought for black rights. They both held protests and believed that everyone should be equal and have equal responsibilities and rights. Another example, would be the long, long fight for gay rights. When the Supreme Court finally passed the law for same sex marriage in any state, Obama and the Supreme Court were known as heros. According to a Washington Post article titled “Nine ‘amazing’ moments from the Obama presidency,” on June 27, 2015, when same sex marriage was legalized, Obama used the lights on the White House to make a rainbow in support of same sex marriage, and I honestly couldn’t respect anyone more than I did then. It’s all about fighting for what is right and what you believe in.

In the end though, not everyone can see their own dream and are unsure what their values are. The American Creed seems to be fading and we need to bring it back by voting and using our voices to make a change. We need kids my age to get registered to vote and get involved in the government. We need our senators to get to know their people and state better. There are so many things we could do, these are just a few. Author Junot Diaz in an essay called “Radical Hope is our Best Weapon” said, “We have to keep fighting, because otherwise there will be no future—all will be consumed.” Tell American citizens that we must keep fighting for what we believe in and tying it to what Rice had said, that it doesn’t matter where you come from, you can go anywhere and do anything. By having this belief, you can get more involved in your government and use your voice.




Columbus High School American Creed - Continuing the Conversation

This group consists of student responses to the American Creed documentary from PBS and Citizen Film.

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