Thursday, February 14, 2008

The American Dream

This is fascinating.

Adam Shepard decides on doing a little experiment. He had a college degree and supportive parents, but he left all that behind. Never mentioning either in his pursuit of success. He arrived on the wrong side of the tracks of Charleston, South Carolina with a gym bag and $25. He lived in a homeless shelter. Ten months later he had to return home because of an illness in the family. But by then he had an apartment, a truck, and had saved $5000.

In 10 months.

I understand that many people have responsibility that make it even more difficult, but there is no doubt in my mind that the American dream is about hard work and determination.

My Dad came from extreme poverty and so many disadvantages. But he became a success in every definition of the word. I believe the American Dream is there for everyone. You just have to make good decisions.

But this part I totally agree with:

There were simple luxuries that I didn't afford myself. I had to make sacrifices to achieve the goals that I set out. One of those was eating out. I didn't have a cellphone. Especially in this day and age, that was a dramatic change for me.... I was getting by on chicken and Rice-A-Roni dinner and was happy. That's what I learned ... we lived [simply], but still we were happy.

When I was first married my husband was still in school. I took a minimum wage job in a law firm. I remember thinking twice about stopping to get a coke on my home from work. We had no money and we wouldn't take any help from our parents.

Now, we are well off. But I can tell you this. I was just as happy then.

My Dad used to say that happiness is a decision you make every morning and I absolutely believe that.

God knew what he was doing when he gave us the 10 commandments. Even if you didn't believe in God, these are rules everyone should live by. They help give us success.

Poverty comes many times from bad decisions. Having sex before you are married. Having a baby before you are married. Cheating, lying, and jealousy. Dishonoring your parents. All these are addressed in the greatest guide book of all time....The Bible.

I believe if we live by that, we succeed.