JA was founded in 1919, and as we prepare for our century celebration next year, we have been sifting through a lot of old documents. One gem we found was A Creed for Young America, which was adopted by JA students in 1950. It captures the spirit of what it means to live in America where we have the liberty to dream big and to make those dreams come true. To create opportunities that make a meaningful and lasting difference in the world. While the words were adopted by JA students decades ago, they still hold true today.
“I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon. I seek opportunity to develop whatever talents God gave me – 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 earthly 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, with God’s help, I have done.’
All this is what it means to be an American.
(Adopted as a creed for Junior Achievement)