It is my right to be uncommon - if I can.
I seek opportunity - not security.
I want to take the calculated risk;
to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed.
I refuse to barter incentive
for a dole.
I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence;
the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.
I will not trade freedom for
nor my dignity for a handout.
I will never cower before any master
nor bend to any threat.
It is my heritage to stand
erect, proud and unafraid;
to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit
of my creations and to face the world boldly
saying, this I have done.
All this is what it means to be an American.
When I was in high school my father gave me a copy of this piece on a small card. I carried it with me well into my 30's and it served me well. ... Perhaps, too well. See Thoughts.