Terry Paulson

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas complimented the motivation of modern liberals “to stop society from treating blacks, the poor, and others . . . as if they were invisible, not worthy of attention. But the [rights] revolution missed a larger point by merely changing their status from invisible to victimized.... Minorities and the poor are humans—capable of dignity as well as shame, folly as well as success. We should be treated as such.”

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gave credit to her parents: “It was my mother and father, who, despite the fact that I was growing up in Jim Crow Alabama, always had me convinced that I could be President of the United States. They always taught me to just look past the obstacles. Either blast through them, or assume they’re not in your way…. I just refuse not to be optimistic. You only have one life. And if you spend your entire life seeing obstacles and seeing clouds and assuming everybody’s out to get you, then I think you’re just likely to waste your life, and I’m just not going to do that.”

Chris Gardner, author of The Pursuit of Happiness, went from homelessness in San Francisco to being an owner of a multi-million dollar institutional brokerage firm in Chicago, IL. Chris shares his inspiring message to young and old alike—"It's not a black thing or a white thing. It's a green thing. If you can make people money, they don't care what color you are." He tells kids that you make your own breaks by studying your books! You don't need to play ball to be a success. To Chris, the big game is played on Wall Street! Chris Gardner is living the dream he earned.

Armstrong Williams, black economist and columnist, suggests: "We need to stop glorifying thugs and start praising those black CEOs and there are plenty of them now--who have seared through the competition to take possession of wealth and prominence. In short, we need to glorify Entrepreneurialism, not victim-hood! Entrepreneurialism is the engine that will close the racial economic gap. But we’ll never get there unless the younger generation of American Blacks decides it is time to move beyond the basic covenants of liberalism. That is to say, unless they decide they can succeed as individuals, rather than remain forever victims because of their skin color."

These men and women were and are fearless, authentic, passionate, articulate, sincere, bold, real, practical, believable, provocative, politically incorrect achievers who need to be heard, honored and learned from. America needs a few more truth tellers of every gender and race. Being trapped in government dependence is not the American Dream our forefathers fought to create. No American need play victim. Don't settle for less than making America work for you.

Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

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