Posted: February 01, 2009
We can get it done here like nowhere else in the world! Let’s keep it that way
On ManagementPat Wiesner
The U.S. has the reputation all over the world of being the one place where you can get a sure return on your own hard work. Everyone everywhere knows that if they can get to the U.S., they have a chance to make it big. These days while we are trying to change our economy and recapitalizing and rewriting our laws, we should be careful to preserve our essence.
Ingenuity. Recently on the evening news, there was a story of a young man who had just graduated from college and couldn’t find a job even though he seemed like a bright product of our educational system. (The arguments about our K-12 system and its failings don’t keep us from having the world’s best universities.) So, according to the story, he decided to travel for a year, work for one week in each state and write about his experience. As I recall, he is about a third of the way through and has had numerous job offers along the way. But he said he wants to finish his tour. He seems to be thoroughly enjoying himself. No doubt we’ll hear more about this young man.
Individual hard work. Another young man I know was intrigued with Europe and went there with the idea to seek his fortune. He prided himself on being a very hard worker and he knew he was smart enough to learn anything. He looked forward to establishing his career and his future in a foreign land. Over the next few years he traveled widely around Europe trying to locate a place to put down roots, establish his reputation and abilities and build something. He never found the right place and eventually came home to the U.S. He told me he couldn’t find a place where hard work was accepted as a signal that a worker wanted to excel and grow in his or her job. As a matter of fact, his fellow workers discouraged his efforts. “Hey American, take it easy. Don’t push so hard. We all work the same here, and we all get raises at the same time.” His thought now is that no place on Earth is the equal of the U.S. when it comes to honoring and rewarding hard work.
Our country’s foundation. Our forefathers, the men who designed this country, knew what they were doing. Probably because of where they had come from, they wrote the laws so that no man was automatically tied to the place in society where he was born. South America, from Mexico to the tip of Argentina, is a different story. Since the king of Spain owned all the land, because he was a conqueror, only his family and friends started out owning land, and the laws were written so that unless the law specifically permitted a thing, it was illegal. These laws are still the same today. But in the U.S., unless a thing is specifically illegal, you can do it. Just the opposite. It is universally believed in the whole of Central and South America that the U.S. is the best place to start with nothing. Also believed in the whole world. That’s why everyone wants to live here.
The United States in spite of all its faults is still regarded around the world as the best country to start with nothing, and based on only the hard work, ingenuity and passion of the person doing the work, anything can be accomplished. Nowhere else have so many stories been written about “obscurity to fame.” They happen every day. Just consider our new president, Barack Obama. We must preserve this environment. While we bail out, buy up, write new laws and re-regulate, we must be sure not to mess with what has made America what it is, a place where hard work and ingenuity are all that are really needed to succeed.
Pat Wiesner is the retired CEO of WiesnerMedia, publisher of ColoradoBiz. He still leads sales training for the company. E-mail him at email@example.com.