Most Inspirational American
Posted Oct 04, 2012
There are times in your life when you absolutely need to gain inspiration from the achievements of others. Those stories of folks who overcame obstacles and achieved great things in spite of them. There are many people who have inspired me personally for many reasons. I completely adore "rags to riches" stories, or any personal story which shows a person working their ass off and getting rewarded for it.
- Bill Gates
- J.K. Rowling
- Lee Iacocca
- Michael Jordan
- Sam Walton
- Steve Jobs
- Sylvester Stallone
- And so many more
Have all inspired me. They all overcame obstacles and found success in their field of choice.
However, when it comes to the "American Dream". I mean the "You can do anything you set your mind too." dream, there is one person that exemplifies that for me.
In my opinion, the most inspirational American is so completely overlooked it borders on criminal. The person I'm talking about is...
Sammy Davis Jr.
This man, endured and overcame so many obstacles, it's just amazing.
- Being black, (as if he had a choice) during a time when racial prejudice was strong.
- Marrying (and publicly dating) white women again during a time when this was practically considered a criminal act.
- Being a black Jew thus reducing support from the more Christian and Muslim blacks.
- A car accident makes him handicapped having only one eye.
- His best friends and strongest entertainment partners were admitted womanizing alcoholics with plenty of problems of their own.
- Snubbed by President Kennedy.
- Attacked by people over his public support of President Nixon.
- He endured multiple divorces.
- He fought alcoholism and gambling problems.
Despite all that and more, he made millions dancing, joking and singing happy songs.
Each and every single ones of these things I've listed could have been the point where Sammy said "I give up. I just can't win." But no.
He kept singing. He kept dancing. He kept telling jokes. He kept doing things the way he wanted despite the problems. OK, admittedly a little strong arming from the mob seems to have shortened one of his inter-racial marriages. But well past that, he kept fighting.
This is the very definition of inspiring: At any time you find reasons why you can't achieve something and should give up, you consider what Sammy Davis Jr. overcame to achieve his success, then you realize that anything you complain about, anything, can't compare.
If you know of a more inspirational example of the American Dream, I'd love to read about it.
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