Dreams still come true in America

By Jeff Schumacher | Jul 04, 2012

Wow. What a week. And, I'm not talking about the fact that it was a four-day work week. Or, the spectacular amount of events that took place on July 4th. Although they were quite impressive. Lots of folks in each town did an awful lot of wok to make the fourth a fun day here in Haywood County.

No, I'm talking about the Olympic trials that occurred all last week. What an amazing spectacle for all Americans to watch. From gymnastics; to swimming; and of course track and field, America was introduced to first-timers; Olympiads who had disappointing results four years ago; and veterans who were making the team for the fourth or fifth time.

Think about that. Someone making he Olympic team for the fourth time means they have been competing at a level superior to almost everyone on the planet for 16 years!! That's dedication. That's perseverance. And, that's America.

For me, the Olympics bring hope to our citizens that we can prove we are still the strong and mighty USA. We keep hearing how our test scores lack compared to other countries. How our economy is being gobbled up by other foreign interests. Probably true. But not in all cases.

As some of you may already know, swimming is a sport my children have chosen as their passion. They get up every morning around 6:30 am for 7 a.m. practice - during the summer. On Tuesday and Thursday, they return to the pool to swim from 3:00 p.m. until 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. I find that admirable, and I can only believe that it comes from our culture. Not my culture at home, but the culture we have here in America.

I was watching The Patriot the other day. A movie with Mel Gibson in it, where he leads a bunch of believers into battle to win their freedom. He accomplishes it not with superior intelligence, or weapons. No, he accomplishes it the shear willingness to outlast his opponent and fight a battle to the finish.

So, what can we take from all of this? That America still stands strong. That we still have that fighting spirit in us to survive. I have seen it in the eyes of the business owners I have spoken to who say it has been a long four years. I have heard it in the voices of those who are passionate about one cause or another - especially the main causes we have going on right now to feed our hungry children and families. They have not given up. America has not given up.

As I watched the Olympic athletes compete, especially in the swimming events, I knew how much time and effort they had put into just challenging for a position on the team. And, it gave me hope. Hope that we all look at our lives that way. And, that we look at our businesses that way. That we can persevere through tough times. We need some help along the way, but perseverance and dedication cannot be replaced in our culture.

These two ingredients are the staple of our great nation. They have been around for many years, and that fire is now ours to keep lit. Our children are depending on us to give them an America where their dreams can come true.

Just like those young, and not so young, athletes whose dreams came true last week.

The Olympics may not be as big of a deal to you as they are to me, and that is fine. To me they are our past, our present, and our future. And, it is the one chance - every four years - we get to unite as a country and believe that "we can be better than anyone else...because we are the United States of America!"


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