My American Creed

Freedom of Individuality leads to united success.

By Jhelysse C. Anthony from Bay High School in Ohio

          An American Creed is defined as, “a term used to refer to the idea that is the defining element of American identity.” Coined by Thomas Jefferson, it encapsulates all of American history into one word or phrase. For me personally, my American Creed is: Freedom of Individuality leads to united success. What I mean by that is: each citizen can use their voice, hard work, aptitude for change, and compassion to invest in our country.

         First, the individual behind a voice. Under the first amendment all citizens have the Freedom of Speech, in modern times this is a valuable asset for Americans. When an issue in our society arises there can always be a person or group who can use their freedom to speak up and use their voice to tell their story. In opposition, it is almost natural to have two sides so if need be there is the choice for a person or group to argue. In my opinion, that conversation will inevitably lead to change all through an individual's efforts to achieve more for our society.

          Second, the individual behind work. The United States is most commonly known for its “American Dream” and the opportunities one has to reach it. There are a lot of success stories in our nation, whether it be from our President or a next door neighbor, which all derived from hard work put in after an individual decided to pursue their dream. The, “Land of opportunity,” gives most people the chance to create their own passion and while others face more adversity finding it, they come out stronger than before because of it.

         Third, the individual behind change. There’s no reason to deny there is a lot wrong in today’s world and our country. But it isn’t to say there aren't fighters who stand against these problems. Modern day society is a call for action where there is a problem, there are activists there to be the catalyst for change. There are teachers willing to inform, there are cultures willing to educate, and there are individuals ready to take action. We have citizens who are ready to end the negatives of today for a brighter tomorrow and are actively pushing for a better future.

         Fourth, the individual behind compassion. Even with so many adversaries in the world today there are a majority of people who hold empathy as a personal moral and act with it daily. I believe that in today's day and age, more and more Americans are seeing the need for compassion in our country and are making it a personal goal to act with compassion. This filters through communities who help families through hard times, donate to student causes, or simply enjoy each other's company. The more compassion this country seems to be gaining the more change is visibly occurring.     

        Personally, I use my voice in my community. Being a black student in a predominantly white school system can teach you a lot, but also offer the chance to teach others. So when I didn't find representation in the course work, I created my own and introduced it to the staff. Now, Bay Middle School students have access to Black History tools to help them learn about integral parts of our history. I use my ability to work to help myself with college, unlike most of my peers I don’t have a solid financial aspect for college so I’m helping myself. I use my call for change to inform the people around me of the effects of inequality and inequity that we see in society today. When my peers call for action against gun violence, I am glad to be there and promote change. I use my compassion to serve with Key Club with my peers where we, “build our homes, schools, and community.” It is important to make sure every person and family feel like they belong in a functioning community. My American Creed is grounded in the idea that us citizens strive for a better future for everyone.

        Freedom of Individuality leads to united success.

Bay High School

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1st Block AP Gov

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