What Is an American?

January 22, 2018
By teddy5287 BRONZE, Memphis, Tennessee
teddy5287 BRONZE, Memphis, Tennessee
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.- Eleanor Roosevelt


Edward L. Hudgins once said, “The principles of this country are no mere abstractions; they are written in the hearts of all true Americans.” This quote describes what Americans are: industrious, diverse, and respectful of their neighbors as well as themselves. Americans have always been industrious, and here are a few reasons why.
Being industrious means more than one thing. It means to work to the best of your ability, while also looking to the future. Edward L. Hudgins says this in his article, “What is an American?”, “Americans seek economic prosperity, leaving behind the resentment in other countries that is aimed at those who better their material condition.” This means that most immigrants who come here want to work and want to achieve their idea of the American Dream. When people come to America, it is a clean slate; if industrious and hardworking, achieving economic and personal goals are possible. The American dream is whatever a person wants it to be, whether a life that is more easygoing and relaxed, or working and constantly being career minded. Neither is right or wrong, they are just different. This being said, America is a very diverse place, because of the many immigrants who come here to find work and prosperity.


Diversity is not just people with different backgrounds together somewhere, at least, not in America. Here, diversity is more. The majority of Americans came from somewhere before America. This country is young, and we have become our own culture. “Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labours and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world”-St. John de Crèvecoer. When Crèvecoer says this he means that America is truly a melting pot. A place where all sorts of people come together and become who they want to be. As Americans, we also treat each other with dignity and respect not only because we would like to be treated the same way, but because it is right and good.


“What- what is that American promise? It’s a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have obligations to treat each other with dignity and respect.” Barack Obama said this in his primary acceptance speech. Treating each other with respect, while also following personal dreams is hard. Many people get so wrapped up in their own personal struggles and dreams, we forget our responsibilities to others. Not only must we remember to treat each other with respect and dignity, but also ourselves. It is almost like loving. We are not able to love others without loving ourselves.


The quote at the beginning really sums up what an American is, hard-working, diverse, and respectful. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are prime examples of people who had a dream and took initiative. Look where they are today. They are two of the most well respected business and technology magnates of the 21st century.  Not only do they work hard, but they also celebrate diversity, and are respectful to their fellow Americans despite their fame and wealth. Americans are who we are. We work hard, we are a melting pot, and we try to treat others the way we would want to be treated.



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