In these trying times, it’s important to remember what matters most — equality. Now more than ever, Americans are tasked with the challenge to speak up, get our opinions heard and spread an important message about equal opportunity.
On this Fourth of July, perhaps we ought to look back at how we got here in the first place. Originally, it was just a dream, then a manifesto, and later, a declaration. The U.S. Declaration of Independence states:
“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
How is it that we often gloss over one of the most important declarations in our nation’s history? Let these words sink in for a minute. All men created equal. Unalienable rights. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Isn’t that what we all aspire to achieve? I would like to think so. Between the overwhelming effects of the pandemic to the injustices that many of us face and fight against every single day, one thing remains — the American dream.
Last year, I wrote about the American dream and its ties to homeownership. It still rings true today, perhaps even more so, as our very livelihood and personal freedoms are being challenged on the world stage.
No matter how bleak it gets, I still believe in the greater good, in the power of equality and in the strength that comes from aspiring to achieve the very basis of the American dream. This of course leads me to an iconic speech by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that I am often reminded of, particularly as we near this Fourth of July.
“I say to you today, my friends, though, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal … “
This dream is not only rooted in equality but in the most basic of human needs — the freedom to earn a wage, to vote, to own a home. The American dream is not dead. It’s alive and well. And if we continue to work together from a place of peace and justice for all, impactful change will come.
Until then, we must continue to fight the good fight. We must listen. We must demonstrate our commitment to making the world a better place.
As stewards of homeownership, we are called upon to ensure that every American, regardless of race, color, gender or creed, has the opportunity to pursue that most essential part of the American dream. Because homeownership is and always will be one of the greatest freedoms of all.