Belief: The American Dream.

Kellan - Spartanburg, South Carolina
Entered on September 26, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Belief: The American Dream

I believe in America. I believe in the American way. I believe in the American dream.

Despite our faults and shortcomings, we are still the greatest nation on planet Earth. For centuries, other nations have and are still striving to become like America and almost every way shape and form. Sure, we have our faults and not everyone sees eye to eye, but America is the only nation where you can speak your mind and do it without fear of government control. We welcome others with open arms and offer them citizenship to our great nation. America is the only nation on the face of the globe that people desire and would do anything, I mean anything, to get onto our shores and become an American citizen.

When we think about the American dream, foreign immigrants usually come to mind first. To be honest, I was guilty of that for a long time until I met someone who epitomizes the American dream but is a natural born citizen of the United States of America. This man’s story is a true “rags to riches” tale. Born in a small rural area in South Carolina, his only means of education was to rely on the public education system. After finishing his local public education, he moved on to Clemson University where he earned a degree in horticulture. He returned to his hometown where he became the county Superintendent of Education then was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 1930 after studying law with his father. He was elected to the South Carolina State Senate in 1933 which began an illustrious career in the political arena. His career in politics lasted 46 years making him the longest serving and oldest Senator for the United States when he retired at 100 years old. I am talking about one of my heroes Strom Thurmond. His life shows that even against all odds, spanning from his beginnings in Edgefield to facing the political odds throughout his career, you can make something of yourself and make your life an example of the American dream.

Since the establishment of our land as a nation in 1776, people from all over have come onto our shores and planted crops, become entrepreneurs, started families and lived the “American Dream.” With what started as a refuge from religious persecution, America has become the greatest nation on the planet in the majority of opinions. No matter your creed, background, or race, you are welcomed in America and that is what makes America so great. Our nation is the single biggest melting-pot of different people from different places with different lives, thoughts and beliefs and yet, we all live in one nation, together.

I believe in America. I believe in the American Dream. Do you?