On Friday I will speak at career day to second graders in my area. The kids in this school are mostly from households without much money. They have many challenges.

Even so, I know they all dream big dreams about what they want to do when they grow up. I have heard those dreams each career day. They have been taught to believe in The American Dream. They are told you can start with nothing and “make it” in America. The second graders I will meet Friday are full of dreams. But we know that at some point, they will question their dreams. Worse yet, there will come a time when someone tries to quash their dreams.

Children young Class.jpgI believe in The American Dream. In many ways I have been blessed to live that dream. As lawyers who have lived that dream, our responsibility is even greater to do all that we can do to help children who are challenged by being poor, or other circumstances beyond their control.

Did you watch 60 Minutes Sunday night? One segment Homeless children: the hard times generation really hit me. The segment focused on the challenges increasing numbers of homeless children are now facing. Please watch the segment if you haven’t seen it. You will be struck by the maturity of the kids and also by their fears. Listen to the challenge they face just to study and read at home.  My daughter, Jill has taught several children, who are living in those challenging environments. I bet when I speak on Friday, I will be speaking to some of those children.

At the risk of adding a religious element to my post, let me just say I believe that those of us whom God has blessed must share our blessings with those who struggle. Jesse Jackson in his 1988 speech at the Democratic Convention said it well:

Keep hope alive. Keep hope alive! Keep hope alive! On tomorrow night and beyond, keep hope alive!

What can you do to keep hope alive and preserve The American Dream for the next generation? What can your firm do? What can your local Bar association do? There are many, many children who are at risk. If we, whom God has blessed just sit on our hands and do nothing, many of those children will give up on the American Dream.