I remember when I was an eighth grader and we were being tested for our understanding of the Constitution of the United States of America. I was being asked to write an essay on what we thought life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness meant. I can remember thinking “How on earth am I going to be able to fill three whole pages of wide ruled loose-leaf on this concept?” Determined to get the paper down early I plugged away and wrote out some half-thought garbage that I thought would please the teacher. Also keep in mind that this was a point in my life when I cared more about girls and their developing breasts than what Thomas Jefferson had to say. I was too young to grasp what the Constitution conceptually meant and how important it is to Americans.
Ten years later I am a graduate business student at a major university and am being faced with the same sort of dilemma. Professors lecturing on the very essence of what our natural rights mean and how they can be applied to the workplace. When I look around the classroom though I don’t see enthusiasm and deep- thinking, I see doubt and disbelief. Employees conditioned to think of themselves first, and others second. People taking for granted their freedoms and criticizing the government for their failures.
I am going to see this problem solved in my lifetime though. I am going to see a resurgence of traditional American values that not only entail what it means to be an employee of a company, but also what it means to be a citizen. I am going to see an America where the individuals are not hyper-privatized and start to care for one another again. I will be a part of a new revolution.
So maybe instead of taking American history as a child, we instead should be taking it as in adult so we can truly reflect on the sacrifices and forward thinking that our forefathers had while constructing a framework for this great county. Maybe everyone should think of what it means to be American again and stop focusing on how they can make a quick buck, or step on someone else’s toes to get ahead. Or maybe I am just young and naïve.
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