“America today is lost and drifting away from its core values of independence and freedom.”
We gathered insight and perspective from 25 of our peers and tomorrow’s leaders (ages 18 to 39) to learn what they think of the state of America today and our future path. Among our brain trust were brand activation agencies, Internet innovators, and graduate students. This week we will discuss a series of topics that shed light on America’s State of the Union, the American Dream, brighter days ahead, and our role in making it happen.
We begin with the ideal state of America as described by our round table of future leaders. While many topics were discussed in the survey, the following five traits rose above all else as the core attributes of an ideal America.
From our beginnings, America has valued her independence. Our freedoms and liberties are central to who we are as a nation. “America stands for the same things today that it has always stood for – freedom.”
America is known as the land of opportunity. And while the economy has created struggles and hardships, there is hope that greater opportunities lie ahead. “My hope is that every child in America grows up dreaming their own American dream and truly believes they can achieve it.” A large part of our heritage has been as an entrepreneurial nation. While we may be discouraged by challenging economic times, we recognize that “there is direct economic impact of bringing talents and entrepreneurial zeal to our country.”
We value our freedom to pursue new ideas. We expect to lead the world in innovation. “We as Americans have an opportunity to take our vast resources and make innovations in technology, medicine and other fields as well.” As a part of innovation, we are placing more and more value on creativity. “I want to live in a country that leads the world in creativity and originality.”
While we are not perfect in our pursuit of equality, we are proud to be the world’s cultural melting pot. Our roundtable recognized that we continue to make progress as “our current government is a step towards being more open and embracing all types of diversity.” A nod to this movement was the Obama administration changing the dialogue with countries formerly ignored by the Bush administration (namely Iran). Instead of adopting the former doctrine of “planned ignoring,” the new administration has opened communication and is sensitive to cultural disparities.
There is a backlash to the spend, spend, spend society of recent years. “Let’s shed the selfishness and embrace generosity.” There is a rising culture of social good that must be further developed. “Foreigners probably don’t get the sense of the generosity of Americans and the desire and commitment to making the world a better place.” Instead of buying more for ourselves, let’s demonstrate our spirit of selflessness.
Our current crisis is an opportunity to reflect on who we are as a nation and reprioritize what is important to us. If our nation gives priority to the winning traits above, we will emerge as a stronger nation.