I believe in the American dream, a Horatio Alger reality. I believe in the opportunity to carve your own destiny with the help of Providence here in the United States of America. To create your own legacy, void of all caste system mentality. And the blood and sweat of many immigrants that believed before me have burst the dam, now it is ours: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness, now we can become equal, now we can be free.
The Journey started in 1976, “we are going north”, my grandfather said. North could have meant anything but here it meant opportunity and a chance to provide more for family. One small town in Mexico quietly waited for its men, and boys to return or to send the earnings before them. Steel mills are but ghost towns now but they were salvation to families in Mexico.
My Father worked two jobs and went to church on Sunday, he knew he couldn’t do this alone. He slept, and while he slept he dreamed; the house paid off, becoming business owner, and his children as college graduates, finally well worth it. Then to wake, get dressed and fight the cold Chicago air to provide a future for Family. I believe that worn out seems to be the by-product of the American dream.
My Mother cried many tears, fought the despair of being in a foreign world, and left the only country she had ever known. She still remembers one Christmas card and the music it played as you opened it. When she felt lonely at home while my father worked she would open the card and let the music play. And there was always music to fill the space left open from the lack of country and family and tradition. This is the price mother paid for happiness, not hers but her children’s. I believe sacrifice to be the means of the American dream.
The road has been paved with the sad stories of life: success or failure. But the ground was fought and gained through faith and belief. One day I will own a home, but for tomorrow I will go to work. Though paychecks are paid once a week or bimonthly, the true reward comes only a few times in a life time: watching a child achieve a degree, owning your own business, and even learning English.
I believe in the American dream, because in many ways it is what I am. I am the Empire my father built, and the Prince that my mother raised. One day to inherit their legacy. We have made it. We aren’t rich but we have established our place in the vast history of immigration. Education and job security have become ours, the price was great, but this is what must be paid for the American dreams. I believe in the freedom of America, it has made me the American dream.
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