So we invite you to be a part of the conversation. Please share a story of how you or someone you know has made a difference in their community or our country.
Tell us where you see the values of opportunity, equality, and fair play at work in your life.
Explain how you or your organization have been involved in grassroots political organizing or activism that has been effective. What was the issue and what was the outcome?
And if you have ideas or suggestions for better ways to drive an agenda about promoting the American Dream, what are they?
These stories and ideas will be the foundation of a book I am writing about the power of ordinary Americans to shape this country’s future and protect the American Dream. We would love to include yours.
My father was the first in his family to attend college. From French-Canadian immigrant families, his and my mother's family worked in textile mills in northern New England. Both parents served in the military in WWII and both continued to work with veterans groups all their lives. Children of immigrants who grew to adulthood during the 1930s, they had a hard time with my choices to become, stay, and pursue a career as a musician.\"Can't you get a real job?\" they asked. \"What about your security?\" I fought for my choices and at 63, have been a professional musician, music teacher and publisher for 40 years. Do I make a lot of money? You must be kidding! Am I happy now with the choices I've made? Very. I raised a daughter who chose musical theater as her career and she too is following her heart with my full support. I can't say enough about the importance of doing that. I wake up happy every day because of my music and my sense of personal satisfaction is very high. And then, people all over the world count me as a teacher, music colleague and friend, I have two recordings on the Smithsonian label and I received a 2008 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artists' Fellowship in the Folk Arts. I manage well on a small income because I never bought into the consumerism of most of my generation. I believe that if money is your only measure of success, your life is lacking in so much joy and spiritual depth. Looking back now on the choices I've made, the only change I would make is to more fully commit to my choice earlier in life rather than waiting until I'd tried many other ways to \"make a living\". It comes down to the difference between making a living and making a life. The second one turns out to be far more important.