In the movie Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise plays a high-powered sports agent who’s in the work strictly for the money: “Show me the money!” as Jerry’s client, played by Cuba Gooding Jr., famously demands of him. By the end, after realizing there’s more to work than making money, Jerry re-envisions his career not as a job but as a mission. It was the same job, but he came to see it differently. He gave it meaning.
For many people, probably most people, the meaning of their work, their mission, is providing for their family. And, when you think about it, what could be more important than working to be able to pay for what your family needs to live and what your children need to flourish? That has been the great mission of generations of immigrants to America. It has been and continues to be their American Dream. They work hard to succeed and, if they don’t go as far as they might wish, then they work to make sure their children do.
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