October 26, 2008

An American Creed

  • I Do Not Choose to Be a Common Man
  • It is my right to be uncommon—if I can.
  • I seek opportunity—not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me.
  • I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed.
  • I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.
  • I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat.
  • It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say, “This I have done.”

By Dean Alfange, The Reader’s Digest, October 1952

The Honorable Dean Alfange was an American statesman born December 2, 1899, in Istanbul. He was raised in upstate New York. He served in the U.S. Army during World War I and attended Hamilton College, graduating in the class of 1922.

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