"I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit." ― Theodore Roosevelt
America was founded by 1776 and continues to be the home for people seeking freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the chance to build a better future for themselves and their families. There are no monarchies, immutable caste systems, or rigid hierarchies to stop you from pursuing your dreams. It's fashionable today to mention all of the shortcomings of the nation and write a cheat-list of the government-orchestrated failures. Blaming someone else is the typical trait of human psychology. That's how we are built, and it doesn't matter where you live, in the United States, Chile, or Barbados.
We always have reasons why we can't succeed. It can be skin color, gender, disability, difficult childhood, or sexual orientation. It can be new tax laws imposed by the government, your neighbor who said hello at the wrong time, or the lack of high-paying poetry jobs. There are people who are likely to blame others, and there are people who blame themselves for all unfortunate outcomes. We play the blame game for one reason: we feel disappointed. Then, we can't succeed and attain the promised American Dream. It's personal, it's not about political system or economy.
Yes, things get messy in the United States but if you can find another country where you have the same opportunities to start a business, to get an education, or succeed in the corporate world, good luck! Why do you think first-generation Americans are often more capable to capitalize on opportunities? Because they realize the difference between having "the opportunity" and not having even a slight chance to make your dreams come true; it's a totally different mindset. The opportunity is the starting point. To be successful, we need three things to be well aligned - opportunity, ability, and motivation. It's not easy; it's incredibly hard — to prosper. There are always roadblocks, lousy luck, and people out to take advantage of you, but there is an opportunity for you to at least try your best.
We're a country founded by passionate people who didn't want to bow down to kings and queens or contend with persecution. We argue, fight, and disagree with each other. We're often angry at the status quo and economy changes. That's what makes us great. The opportunity to openly disagree with the government and with each other, and continue to do whatever we want.
"Maybe your country is only a place you make up in your mind. Something you dream about and sing about. Maybe it's not a place on the map at all, but just a story full of people you meet and places you visit, full of books and films you've been to. I'm not afraid of being homesick and having no language to live in. I don't have to be like anyone else. I'm walking on the wall, and nobody can stop me." ― Hugo Hamilton.
Instead of celebrating, we should take the time to thoughtfully reflect just how lucky we are that we are given the freedom to advance and achieve our goals. The United States offers many opportunities, and that's why people from all over the world want to come here. We're a nation of fighters who don't give up easily. There's no reason why you shouldn't stand up for yourself and pursue a life of wealth, success, and happiness.