Too often we become distracted, perhaps even obsessed, by what we do not have or cannot, for one reason or another, achieve. These disappointments often lead to cynicism, pessimism, and even depression, clouding our vision of the future. Everyone rides the rails of disappointment in life at some point. But the true, "can do" American spirit and belief in unlimited individual ability empower people to regain control of their lives and find success and happiness.
Think that sounds cliche or unrealistic? Meet Don Hussey, author of Ticket to Ride, the Promise of America.
Hussey realized at an early age he was unwilling to waste the one life he was given on the mediocrity and despair that surrounded him during his youth. Determined to break away from his impoverished and abusive childhood, Hussey chose to leave high school at an early age to begin his own journey, independent and free. Today, he reflects on a life championed, a life of military service, a teaching career, several business ventures, and most recently a campaign for the U.S. Congress. He credits his 'ticket to ride' to his fervent and unyielding desire to pursue his education and take advantage of America's promise given him at birth.
Through Ticket to Ride, the Promise of America, Hussey presents an unflinchingly honest memoir in which determination is built upon courage and driven by lock-jawed determination. With every obstacle and every setback -- including a harrowing accident at a steel mill -- he conquered and moved on, in a remarkable test of the human spirit.
"Success in life, however you define it, is largely self-directed and rarely handed to you," says Hussey. "No matter the condition or circumstance of your birth, the fact you were born in America gives you the freedom to challenge yourself and realize your potential. Nothing ever worthwhile is possible without hard work, determination, and a willingness to brush aside the setbacks. In my case, I left home at an early age to find my place in the world. I never looked back and I never gave up."
"America provides, through the remarkable history of its people, the opportunity for each of us to succeed and achieve a meaningful future. My time in the military brought the man out in me, and when combined with my education, gave me the tools I needed to level the playing field."
Hussey encourages readers to look beyond the circumstance of their birth and the obstacles that stand in the way, remembering that you have the promise of America on your side. In this beautifully written, poignant memoir, Hussey's reaches out to the youth of America:
- Ignore the challenges and setbacks - they're only temporary
- Decide early who you are and what you want to become.
- Expect great things from yourself, and be willing to work and sacrifice to achieve them
- Never allow others to interfere with the goals you've set for yourself
- Have patience as you set your sights on the impossible
"It's important to remember that much of the hard work has already been done for us," adds Hussey. "The fertile soil of freedom has been nurtured by generations of Americans willing to sacrifice everything. From Bunker Hill, to Omaha Beach, to Vietnam and beyond -- the broken hearts, the spilled blood and the endless tears. The price paid in full.
"So, if you're willing to work and work and work some more, you'll put that hard fought, God-given freedom to good use. And as you gain confidence, set your sights on the impossible. Then watch with a smile as your dreams race across the wonders of a midnight sky."
- "Ticket to Ride, the Promise of America" can be purchased from amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and through all major booksellers
Don Hussey's early years were spent in and around Boston's South Shore. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a member of the Security Service (USAFSS) from 1960 to 1964. Following basic training and advanced training in communications at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi, Hussey spent a yearlong tour of duty on a frozen remote island in the Bering Straits off the coast of Alaska. He has earned two advanced degrees, taught school in the public sector, became a businessman, and more recently entered the race for U.S. Congress from the 10th Congressional District in Massachusetts.
Don Hussey Website