Hard work and self-reliance are not code words for selfishness. The safety net is a moral imperative. As Ronald Reagan once said at the Conservative Political Action Conference, “Now, there are those who will always require help from the rest of us on a permanent basis, and we’ll provide that help. To those with temporary need, we should have programs that are aimed at making them self-sufficient as soon as possible.”  This cannot be overemphasized, given how successful the Left has been in framing the debate as one that pits compassionate liberals against heartless conservatives.
I have always been a “pusher.” Testing my limits: physical pain, tolerance, and mental strength. When someone tells me NO, how can I turn that into YES? Someone sees all black but I see a smidge of white, how can I show them. Challenges entice me. No one governs your capabilities other than you. This is a lesson and a way of life that I always find myself “falling back on” when I fail. Failure can be beautiful, it drives you to dig deeper to find a better solution/method which helps you discover a different more powerful side of yourself. Having lost my right calf in the 2013 Marathon Bombings, I suffered physical and mental pain which I overcame with the mentality expressed above. I was broken in every way. I took on a whole new list of challenges and succeeded in finding happiness. I help people daily with finding the right home. I am healthy, I contribute one hour per day to physical activity. I make time time to communicate with all of my blessings as often as possible. This life I live today is my American Dream.