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July 9, 2018 | Lalitta Ghandikota
Reflections on the American Dream
The American dream. Lots has been written about it. The last election, one might argue, was a national debate on it. A few weeks ago, I became a U.S citizen. It’s been quite a journey. And, I can not tell a lie, I got a little teary eyed during the ceremony. In that room with me were folks from 80 different countries around the world; countries as diverse as Nigeria, the U.K, Israel, China, Australia and the list goes on and on. And, each person in that room had a story to tell; some more harrowing than others. But, what bonded us was our deep desire to be in this country and our immense gratitude for all this country has given us.
It reminded me that all anyone really wants is a chance; one person, one country who will take a chance on them. One person, one country who sees them not as a liability but full of potential. And, here was this group of people who took that chance and ran with it. This group of freshly minted citizens have opened small businesses, graduated from some top institutions, started Fortune 500 companies, created and donated millions to non-profits, found cures to previously incurable diseases, and designed revolutionary new products.
Because you see, despite all of the current turmoil this country is going through, it is still a country which stands for opportunity. James Adams who originally coined the phrase “the American Dream” defined it as “the dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.”
I am blessed to work for Joveo, a start-up whose mission is a job for everyone. Our mission is to ensure that everyone who wants a job, is easily able to find a job. Allow me to introduce you to our founder. He is the epitome of what our founders imagined when they created this extraordinary country. He came to this country with one thin jacket and a suitcase. He landed on the east coast on one of the coldest nights of the year with the few dollars in his pocket. The bitter cold almost made him get on the next plane back. Flash forward 15 years. He has started not one, but two companies. He has employed many Americans, started a non-profit, and is a model citizen. He took the chance this country gave him.
One chance…that’s all anyone needs or wants. Thank you to the country which gave me one.