If you are an American, you might have heard of the “I Have A Dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr.. If not, maybe you have heard of the famous speech, Gettysburg Address, by Abraham Lincoln. If all else fails, you must be familiar with the Declaration of Independence written mostly by Thomas Jefferson. These important men of history wrote documents with something particular in common; they each state, “All men are created equal.” Although the grammar of that quote is inadequate, the meaning of it will forever remain sincere.
Some may say men are not created equally because of the division social classes create in America. However, social classes do not dictate the outcome of our lives. Although we cannot help the social class we are born into, we can help the class we end up in. We all have a fair shot at living the American Dream and it “is not something that is limited to any economic class,” (“From Shelter to the American Dream”). Adam Shepard, for example, started at the very bottom of the lower class. After a measly 6 moths, Shepard worked his way up to living the lower middle class lifestyle with all he said he needed to live the American Dream: a car, a furnished apartment, and a paying job. He had just as many opportunities as everyone living with him in the St. Charles homeless shelter. They had equal chances to get ahead. So what set Adam apart from the rest of the homeless people? “It’s an attitude,” (“From Shelter to the American Dream”).
Attitude is the key to succeeding in life and living the American Dream. With the right mindset, you can motivate yourself to accomplish almost anything. Barbara Ehrenreich was correct when claiming we “grow up hearing over and over.. “hard work” was the secret of success: “Work hard and you’ll get ahead.” Cheating your way through life simply isn’t always an option. You will hear many people tell you that hard work got them to where they are today. They didn’t make that up. They put in the time and the work to get their desired results. Life comes from the willingness to succeed, rather than the willingness to just accept the status quo.
Your background does not define what will become of you. My family creates the perfect example. My great-uncle and my Grandma were born into a family of 6 kids; my Great-Grandparents were not wealthy by any means. They both worked hard and provided for their family, but there wan’t any money for college. My Uncle joined the United States Army as an 18 year old, as he knew that would be the only way he would be able to afford college. My Grandma got married at the age of 18; the only way she knew...