Culturalvalues represent both abstract concepts and practical principles thatdefine the lifestyle of people. While every ethnic community hasheroes, the contemporary world appreciates leaders that fight tosafeguard individual rights. A hero is a person who struggles againstall unfavorable conditions to sets his society free. Legends assertthat a hero is a person with extraordinary bravery, but remainsconfined by collective norms. Prominent heroes embody both thestrengths and deficiencies of their background nation. Parent passdown dominant cultural principles in their daily activities andchildren learn by imitating. Cultural beliefs determine the behaviorand perception of people.
TheAmerican mainstream belief in self-autonomy that establishes andsafeguards individual liberty and freedoms represent the culturalvalues I appreciate. Americans founded a society based on principlesof equality that assert for individual autonomy. The construct ofindividuality remains based on protecting human rights and freedomsfrom the tendency to universalize their meaning and practice. Culturenurtures people to reject predetermined self-expression that lackauthentic human nature. Autonomy as a cultural value ensures thatpeople follow their aspirations without the interference of societalforces. As such, individualism is a pattern of cultural values,meanings, and practices that construct the modern Americancivilization. The philosophy of self-autonomy provides guidingstandards of behavior that promote sovereignty of individualregardless of their ethnic, religious, and economic difference.
Thehero who stands out among all Americans as the best representative ofself-autonomy is Abraham Lincoln. The legacy of freedom associatedwith the 16thPresident of the United States signifies the kind of hero that Iadmire and respect. Unlike most of his predecessors, Lincoln rosefrom poverty like an ordinary American man. Besides attainingindividual success, he embodied self-autonomy in making nationaldecisions and government policies. Although the Southern Americansdisliked his opinion against slavery and the Confederation, thepresident stood for the Union and abolished human bondage. The 1863Emancipation Proclamation document freed all slaves, and the actionrecognized individual independence of the colored people (Clark andFriedman 50). Lincoln exhibited a noble character by banningservitude. Hence, he established American equality and solved theAmerican race problem. His consistent pragmatic attitude guaranteedthe freedom of every individual and he established a true Americanculture of self-autonomy. Besides, Lincoln honored women suffragerights and ended the philosophy of neglecting one gender.
Inmy example, I have shared the collective American culture ofself-autonomy. The values associated with the culture includeindividual rights and freedoms that create equality. In addition, thehero who made significant contributions to establishing self-autonomyin America is the 16thPresident Abraham Lincoln. Southern Americans were used to a contraryculture of subjugating the colored people for profit. They grew theiragricultural enterprises by taking away the rights of the slaves anaction that went against the principle of self-autonomy. Therefore,Lincoln remains the American hero for abolishing the southerners’practices of servitude since the concept went contrary to thecivilized ethical standards of the country. The North was alreadysuccessful and ahead in economic progress because of applyingself-autonomy principles. Lincoln turned America into a country whereevery individual would gain fulfillment of natural and inalienablehuman freedoms.
Inconclusion, individualism is a concept of self-autonomy that allowseveryone to participate in everything independently. People are freeto set their beliefs without conforming to social ideologies orfollowing dominant cultural values. Lincoln is the hero who nurturedthe cultural values of preserving the liberties and freedoms of allpeople regardless of their ethnic or racial background.
Clark,George, and Michael Jay Friedman. “Abraham Lincoln: A Legacy ofFreedom.” Bureauof International Information Programs,2008.