I do not choose to be a common man.
It is my right to be uncommon … if I can.
I seek opportunity … 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 master
Nor bend to any threat.
It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid;
To think and act for myself,
To 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.
-- Dean Alfange
This loved quote, sometime falsely attributed to Thomas Paine, first appeared in This Weekly Magazine and the Reader's Digest in the early 1950's. It immediately captured the imagination of the American public, and was read into the Congressional Record at least twice.
Dean Alfange (1897 - 1989) was an American politician who held political assignments from nearly every political party in the United States. His quote, an essay which won numerous awards, has been adapted and idealized since 1952. Another popular form of the quote ends with "All this is what it means to be an entrepreneur," a version which rose to popularity in 1976. Not to be outdone other versions of the quote end with "This is what it means to be a/an....dentist, lawyer and (my favorite) American farmer."
Regardless of its current usage, the American's Creed, as it came to be called, stands for many of the core values we hold in high esteem.
Our (R) Declaration serves as the guiding principles not only for our politics, but for our lives and our company as well. It was one of the first tasks we undertook when establishing Republican Coffee, because we believe that you must know what you stand for in order to make a difference in this world.
We're pretty proud of it!
Our customers love it, too. We've noticed a trend: they buy a copy of the (R) Declaration for themselves, frame it, and come back to buy more for gifts!
In the 1950's, when Dean Alfange was writing his American Creed, such values were the cultural norm, and formed the basis of common language among all Americans. Sadly, that is no longer the case in our country today. We can not assume that Americans share the same work ethic, respect for each other and other's beliefs, or commitment to building the future of the country we love. In fact, we can't assume that other Americans even share that fundamental love of country. Seems like many in leadership spend more time apologizing for the country than building it.
So join us in returning to a sense of value, a love of country and a commitment to work together for the common good. We do not choose to be a common man, woman or child. It is our right to be uncommon.