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A People and a Nation: A History of the United States - Essay Example

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This paper discusses some of the most important American values, how they have been instilled in me and the reasons why they are significant in my life as an American. American values mean something different from the psychological perspective, whether they are intrinsic or extrinsic. …
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A People and a Nation: A History of the United States
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Weekly Written Assignment American values mean something different from the psychological perspective, whether they are intrinsic or extrinsic. Many Americans believe that individuals are unique and therefore a common list of values can never apply to all. In this paper, I will discuss some of the most important American values, how they have been instilled in me and the reasons why they are significant in my life as an American.
Freedom is one of the values that America has fought for and is greatly admired by other nations. The phrase ‘I have the right’ is commonly used, an indication of the freedom that Americans are entitled. Citizens have the right to make a decision using their own criteria and the responsibility to accept the consequences. According to Norton (8), children had a great deal of freedom. When I was young, my parents made me do simple chores for myself and they felt proud if I managed. The small independent success of childhood gives way to adulthood freedom, such as choosing a career, living away from parents and getting married without interference from anyone. My parents taught me the importance of freedom which makes it one of the most prized values that I live with. This value is very significant as I can choose my religion and the college that I want to attend among other fundamental choices in life.
Equality is another value that I cherish very much. This value is so important in America that it has even been given a religious basis. As I was taught in the church, God views all humans equally with no regard to intelligence level, economic status or physical well being. From a young age, children in America are taught to treat other people equally regardless of whether they are white or black, rich or poor or even physically disabled. This ensures that no one is left out to feel as if they are not part of the society. The values of equality are taught from home, and it extends even in school (Fox 43).
The pursuit of happiness as a value is very significant in my life. This is mostly enhanced by entertainment media ranging from television, radio and the internet. This value is deep-rooted in our history and our plan for the future (Norton 16). Most Americans save to enjoy themselves. My family, for instance, has been saving up for vacations which are an important part of the family culture which has taught me the value of happiness. Celebrities and Hollywood stars are highly paid, and citizens spend a fortune to go and watch them. This value is important in the American culture as it ensures that talents are nurtured in young people, whether in music, art, acting or technology. Since I was young, my parents encouraged me not to give up on my talents. It creates a spirit of competition which moves the economy of the country forward.
Future orientation as a value has been there for a long time. This value can be deemed as the source of the ‘American dream’. The society brings up children with the hope that the future will be much better. Almost all energy is directed towards realizing a better future. Organizations encourage employees to work hard just as our teachers encourage us to gain better grades for a brighter future. This value is very fundamental in my life as it encourages me to work hard for a better tomorrow (Fox 44).



Work Cited
Norton, Mary B. A People & a Nation: A History of the United States. Australia: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2008. Print.
Fox, William M. American Values Decline: What We Can Do. S.l.: Air leaf Pub, 2006. Print. Read More
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