Spoiled Americans

James - Tucson, Arizona
Entered on March 26, 2009

I believe in self-reliance, my dad taught me that when I was young. He taught my siblings and me not to count on anyone, but ourselves. He made it clear we better graduate from high school, and on time. After our expected graduation date, we would be paying him rent or be kicked out of the house. He was not about to have any of his kids leaching off of him. I don’t blame him; he lived through the depression, and always feared the next one was just around the corner. Considering the current economic situation, maybe he was right. For years I resented the way my dad treated us, but now I realize he was teaching us how to survive in the world.

I think Americans today are spoiled, thinking their parents or the government should take care of them. Americans want an easy life and a quick fix when a problem arises.

No one is promised a long, happy and healthy life with no struggles. We don’t get to have a utopian life just because we were born as Americans. Life is what you, as an individual makes of it. If you make bad decisions, at some point you’re likely to suffer from those decisions. Life is not easy and certainly not fair, but it’s the challenges in life that make us stronger.

I was laid off from my job last October, after thirty four years working for the same company. I didn’t sit and cry, expecting someone to save me and my home. I looked at it as an opportunity. It was my chance to go back to school and change my career, to something I would truly enjoy. I’m fifty two years old and I look forward to the day when I will start my new career, as a Medical Lab Technician. For me, it feels like life is just beginning, and I love it.

When I’m a hundred years old, I’ll be able to look back on my life and know that I faced and defeated every challenge that came my way. No one did it for me, I did it myself.

I do believe in self-reliance. When times get difficult, I believe it’s the most important trait that bubbles up from the human spirit. America’s greatness and success is a culmination of the millions who believed in themselves, relied on themselves and overcame the difficulties in their lives. When people believe in themselves, they can overcome anything, and our nation becomes stronger because of it.