The American Dream Is Alive, Damn It

Posted By on March 25, 2009

I’m sick of hearing how bad the economy is, I’m sick of all the hand-wringing, and I’m sick of the media spinning seemingly constant stories of doom and desperation. Don’t get me wrong—I know that people are hurting financially. It’s devastating that our 401(k)s have lost half their value. It hurts to see the unemployment numbers growing. I get it—uncertainty is unpleasant. But the only certainty in life is, well, uncertainty. America has been here before—just take the recent examples of 1987, 1991, 2001. Remember Black Monday, in October of 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 508 points? Remember the recession of 1991? Who could ever forget the toppling of the Twin Towers in 2001, which caused us to question our very future as a nation? Silicon Valley was chipped down to size in the early 2000s, and many thought the technology bust was the end of American business. What happened? In each case, America bounced back. No one ever promised us a life of upward trajectory. Life, quite simply, is more like an electrocardiogram; so are the markets, and, sadly, at times so are our finances. But these turbulent times are when the American spirit soars. It’s when we dust ourselves off and rethink. It is the dynamism of our people, our ideas, and our ability to execute that saves us every time. Our collective resilience is perhaps the greatest trait that Americans share. Think about it. No other country has their own dream. There is no French Dream, no Ukrainian Dream, no Afghan Dream. It is a uniquely American idea. Let’s not let it die; instead, let’s drop the doom-mongering and do something productive. The three most important words in America are Go To Work. This may be the perfect time to build your own company—your own American dream. It may be the perfect time to reassess your life and your profession. At the very minimum, use this time to assess your talents, skills, and passions. Take Maya Angelou’s wise advice: “Pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.” I think you’ll see the American Dream in all its vivid colors.

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About The Author

W. Randall Jones is the author of The Richest Man in Town. Visit the About W. Randall Jones and About The Richest Man in Town pages to learn more.

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