When you first hear his story without being told that Jim Abbott was born with only one hand, you would never know it, never even think it. But once the surprise of his story wears off, it gives way to an acknowledgement that it makes perfect sense. Jim Abbott, after all, is an American, and America is all about amazing stories.
Each story of an individual seizing the opportunities presented to him, or creating his own opportunities through his choices, is a testament to a nation that values individual liberty and ingenuity. Only in a society that values the individual will someone like Clarence Thomas -- a descendant of slaves, born into poverty and segregation -- have the opportunity to become an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Only by returning to our long-standing belief that we are a nation of individuals limited merely by our imaginations, and not by the government, will we continue to reap the harvest of creativity and prosperity that our system is uniquely suited to foster.