Terry Paulson

We don't need special programs for races, genders, or ages. We need to help everyone turn tough times into earned optimism based on hard work and creative problem solving. True optimism doesn't come from hopeful words by politicians; it comes from a track record of overcoming obstacles and the confidence you earn from achieving success anyway. Don't believe you can't do this!

Our current president will tell you that the gap between the rich and the poor means we have take from the rich to fuel your entitlements and your hope. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When you follow people who are at one time poor over time, most Americans move from poverty to the middle class and beyond. There will always be poor, but they are not the same person. America still works if you will.

Stop buying the myth that the next generation can't be as successful as ours. such expectations foster learned helplessness, the depression of our age! A black physician shared a story of young single parent telling her child at a free clinic as she pointed to a woman nearby, "That's my social worker. Some day you'll grow up and have one, too."

Is that what we want for the next generation of Americans. I think not! Rosey Grier, the great hall of fame football great and preacher, said, All too often, minority kids never hear about anyone other than athletes. They don't know the living you can make with your mind. When I hear the same thing in black schools as white, kids talking about becoming doctors and lawyers, I know the ghetto will disappear.” Instead of talking about Affirmative action quotas we need to find and share affirmative examples from all races and genders who all Americans can look up to and learn from. It's time we move beyond petty racism to keep hope alive for a color-blind dream.

Instead of having anniversaries of past disasters or watching car chases, it's time we catch America working and let successful people tell the rest of us how they made American free enterprise work.

What do I want from Washington and state governments? I agree with Ronald Reagan's statement: “Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.” Spend within your means on only what is important. Stop passing volumes of laws designed to deal with the irresponsible few while punishing the responsible many. Let us keep more of the money we have earned to shape our own future. Be there to provide temporary help for those in need, but stop rewarding people to settle for living off the government.

OK, there is much wrong with America, but we spend too much time in the rearview mirror worrying about whose fault it is. The action is out the front window facing the future. It's time we invent the future together by being successful no matter who is in Washington. Let's get busy starting tomorrow. We've done it before, and we can do it again. Remember one final thing--"We the People" are the boss and true hope for America's future! Let's start demanding leaders who understand that!

May God bless this great land...and 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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