Valin Posted August 4, 2014 Share Posted August 4, 2014 Heritage.org: Preface Jim DeMin It is significant that this Index focuses on both culture and opportunity. I learned early on, from personal experience, that these two notions are intertwined. My two brothers, my sister, and I were reared by our single mom with a work ethic that shaped who I am today. We struggled economically but my mother provided a model that showed us the importance of work and personal responsibility. To sustain our family, she started a ballroom dancing business in our home. She worked all the time, but also expected us to do our share. So each morning, we would get up at 6:00 a.m. to find our personal list of duties for the day. Passing the time without doing something constructive was not an option. While we each pulled our weight, the more we did, the more we felt we could do and the more confidence we gained. Growing up in Greenville, South Carolina, a small textile town, strengthened that feeling. There was a general understanding that each person was important and could make a difference in the lives of others. My story, and similar stories shared by so many Americans, reveals a fundamental truth about our nation: The presence of opportunities may influence an individual’s prospects for the future, but the culture of a family or community affects the extent to which the individual takes advantage of those opportunities. This Index presents an at-a-glance view of cultural trends in America such as marriage rate, religious participation, and community involvement. These trends are presented alongside data regarding poverty, dependence, workforce participation, and educational and employment opportunities. (Snip) Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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