This I Believe
By: Jeremy Watson
I believe that self-reliance and independent thought are the keys to the American dream. I don’t intend to preach or jump on a soapbox, but this is a subject that is close to my heart and I feel that I am an example of this belief. When I was young my family instilled the ethic of self-reliance and encouraged me to speak my mind and to think for myself. I hated having to do things for myself then. When I was 18 I enlisted in the U.S. Army as a cavalry scout. Now everyone has this belief that the military doesn’t want you to think for yourself, this is false. The military wants you to conform but does not want robots. My time in the Army had allowed me to hone my confidence and to strive to be the man I wanted to be. I’m not saying that this was an easy feat, but nothing in life really is.
After my time in the military, I was truly on my own. I never asked for a handout and started my family with my wife. We were both on our own, hundreds of miles from our families. We strove to make the best of our situations and eventually moved down to San Antonio. Once in San Antonio, we purchased our own house at a great risk of not being able to afford it. We gained employment and have been thriving ever since due to our hard work and diligence.
I share this story as an attestation of my belief in self-reliance and independent thought. After viewing so many people just going through the motions in their everyday lives, I feel like the lone wolf striving to survive to become the alpha male in the pack. I believe that anyone anywhere can achieve the American dream. All one needs to do is strive to be self-reliant and think for themselves. I believe that I can achieve by not accepting handouts or something for nothing, if you will. I believe in not allowing someone else to think for me. I believe that asking for help is not against self-reliance, but a part of it. The ability to know when to ask for help is a part of self-reliance. We are all only human and not a one of us can do it all alone.
I believe that these are simple rules to live by. I wish that more people felt as strongly and convicted as I do to this belief. I feel that if more people strove for their own self-reliance and dedicated themselves to their goals, we could all make our own American dream whatever it may be. I’m trying to pass my ethics on to my young children. If this essay can touch just one person outside my family then I will deem it a success. I just want to share my own path to the American dream.
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