Originally posted at Writeindependent.org on December 7, 2011
Have we forgotten who started this nation? Our ancestors were the bravest, most hard-working people. They left their families, their countries of origin, because they believed they could create a better life. They were the strongest: they survived long voyages, harsh conditions, they had to learn a new language, start from scratch, leave almost everything they had behind.
In short, we are built from scrappy people. So not only is America filled with the most courageous ancestors, they were also tried and tested.
The spirit of this country comes from these people. All we have to do is look back at our heritage to realize that what made this country great is the industriousness of people who had it hard at one time or another.
We have the genetic material of these people; we can stay great by applying the same indomitable spirit again.
My grandfather built a business out of nothing. He grew up during the depression; he went from house to house offering to mend suits (he came from a family of tailors) to eke out enough money to buy the most basic necessities. He slowly built by borrowing money from his wife’s brother (my great uncle) to establish businesses first in formal wear and then later in costumes.
If he had not leveraged the skills he learned as a child, he would not have been able to purchase real estate in Pennsylvania and build himself a small fortune before he passed away.
Nothing happens overnight, but people in this country have managed to pull themselves up out of poverty by consistent and persevering effort.