Truths that are Self Evident

May 5, 2010
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America was founded on the basis of respect, respect for the colonists separating themselves from Britain, respect for the brave leaders of that separation, respect for the ideas proposed by those leaders. I believe America eternally thirsts for change and growth - I believe a glimmer of power to change a nation is found in the minds of its citizens, and its impact will be as strong as the force of the person behind it. Because of the many trials our nation has seen, it is safe to assume America's inhabitants require something profound to grab their attention and stir their hearts to press for change towards a better country. Where will our nation find something so profound? In the hearts of those brave enough to fight adversity to discover it. My dream

for America is equal opportunity to achieve anything one desires coupled with an equal amount of respect for each person's right to be a functioning part of society.

The Declaration of Independence demands “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind”
but numerous members of society and their leaders need a reminder of the beliefs and hardships that formed the nation’s foundation. Although the financial situation of each individual is different, it is still possible to obtain equal opportunity in the realm of respect; each person should have the opportunity to work hard as he or she tries to achieve personal goals no matter what economic situation he or she began in. It is when respect is withheld that individuals choose to abandon their dreams, and as a result advancements are lost in what might have come from those dreams. Opportunity can be found in acceptance; if one feels accepted he or she receives the courage to try new things, and with new ideas come incredible advances. Citizens highly privileged in the areas of financially stability and education are not the only citizens that can change the world. In many cases, such as Rosa Parks, the simple idea that she deserved to sit in the front of the bus led to great change in our country. Opportunity thrives in open-mindedness; if one possesses the fortitude to consider impossibilities to be possible he or she may stumble upon greatness.

Respect encompasses endless definitions. I believe respect to mean toleration of others views, lifestyle, and opinions - not support of those views, lifestyle, or opinions. Although support is a good thing to have, it is not essential in order to obtain a nation that gives equal opportunity to each of its citizens. In "The Kentucky Derby 2009- the American Dream Lives On" Linda Suski argues that the original American dream encouraging respect and opportunity is lost in current times of economic depression and corrupt authority.

In the face of a recession, a poll conducted by the NY Times and CBS News in 2009 27% of adults polled describe the American Dream to be “freedom and opportunity” compared to 20% only four years earlier. America is admiringly called "the land of opportunity", but presently that opportunity does not come without a cost. Whether the cost is minor or severe, discrimination or abuse, intentional or unintended it exists everywhere. I hope one day diversity will be encouraged not silenced, and opportunities will be seized not pushed away. I believe change is squelched by fear, and I dream that one day America will allow its audacious citizens to dive into the unknown and emerge victorious, grasping new hopes for the country. Some of our nation's most noteworthy achievements required men and women not afraid to fulfill their desires and reach for the impossible.

I hope one day people will not be held back due to preconceived ideas about their abilities, or lack there of, solely based on deeply rooted prejudices. I hope no one will be denied opportunities to accomplish greatness based on sex, religion, or ethnicity. I hope no person will be mocked for what they desire to do with their life or the choices they choose to make.
It might only take one person to move a nation, but America will never allow that change to occur unless it opens itself to the desires deep within the core of every citizen. In the past the country has allowed itself to be stirred by one citizen, such as Rosa Park’s refusal to sit in the back of the bus or Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, but it seems as years melt away, the belief that one person can achieve substantial change is lost in every failure. The country needs to regain that vision and strive for greatness.

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