The American Dream.
It's a concept bearing different meanings for different people, but for most, it's about working hard and reaping the benefits of your labor, whether it's eventually being able to buy a house, a car, or putting children through school. Ultimately, it's about providing a better future for yourself and your family.
A recent speech given by a high school valedictorian in Florida, born of immigrant parents, exemplifies what it means to live that dream.
Take a minute to watch her speech and be inspired by her story.
One piece that may go unnoticed by some is this: "I am motivated by my mother's hands that are slowly losing feeling from years of arduous work in the dirt and fields."
Her mother is suffering from cumulative trauma - a type of wear-and-tear work injury resulting from years of repetitive motion and/or exposure to harmful environments. Thousands of workers experience cumulative trauma injuries each and every year, often leaving them debilitated and unable to continue working.
Insurers have been wanting to do away with these types of claims for years, leaving hardworking people with little option for recourse.
As we celebrate our Independence Day this week and the principles on which our nation was founded, it's hard not to ask: Does a person's inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness end when they get injured on the job?
Ask an injured worker how our workers' compensation system is treating them for their years of hard work... A job they lose, a home foreclosed, a car repossessed, a child forced to quit college... an American Nightmare.