I have this theory. A theory about where we came from as Americans, where we are, and where we can go. If we choose. First, allow me to clarify. This is not a political blog, but a treatise in our unique individuality. We are truly the nation of immigrants. Immigrants who left societies that controlled many aspects of their lives. These people heard of an opportunity to go someplace different, where the rules were different. They would have to take on great personal risk. They would risk leaving everything they knew, their home and country, their family, their comfort and familiar way of life. These people would have to risk even their lives! All of this risk for chance at freedom. Freedom to worship as they chose, freedom to work at a future for themselves and their children. Freedom to own property and business, a way of life that had never been truly available before. Why you ask? Haven't all of these things always been an option for people to pursue. Not at all. Business ownership, land ownership, and personal freedom had only been available to a select few in the world. The aristocracy. The elite. So then, this place called America was to many a beckoning song, a chance at something different. A pull at the collective heart of many. Did they all rush to the boats and come over here, giving up all and risking life and limb, leaving the old way of life for the new? No.
But some did.
Some individuals chose to listen to their heart, to take a chance, to risk it all. Many chose to stay right where they were. The risk was far too great for them. Many chose to endure the familiar, to stay the coarse, to play it safe.What about the individuals that took the chance? Some of them didn't make it. Some got over here, gave it an effort, and went back home. And some made it. They worked, built homes and businesses, discovered, created, had families, fought wars, made this country. They became America. We are their children. You and I live in this country that they risked everything for. They created this nation that some people from all over the world have given up everything just for the opportunity to come here. For all of the same reasons that the original few came for. People are still coming here. They still see America as a land of hope and opportunity. They hear the song. So you ask, what is all of this about? Great little story, waving the flag of nostalgia and all that, but what does that have to do with anything today? I'll ask you a question. As a people, where are you and I today? How are we, as the people who have benefitted from our predecessors risks doing with all this, with our lives, our freedom, our opportunity for happiness? Are you winning in your life? Some are. Many are not.
Hmmm... That sounds like a familiar story.
So, what about you and I? Take a good look at yourself, your situation, your life. Are you where you thought you would be in this life? Do you have dreams, ideas that have never been sought after? I do as well. We all do. But here's the deal. We still live in America. We live in this place where anyone can truly make a change. You can change yourself, your situation, your future. But it might take some risk, some unknown, some change. Some will, many will not. But we all can.
Be courageous. I have seen many depressions in business. Always America has emerged from these stronger and more prosperous. Be brave as your fathers before you. Have faith! Go forward!
-Thomas A. Edison