Sunday, August 05, 2007

I Do Not Choose to be a Common Man

A good friend shared this with me and I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to share it with you, enjoy.

My Creed
by Dean Alfange

I do not choose to be a common man It is my right to be uncommon... If I can. I seek opportunity... Not security.

I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state
to dream and build, to fail and succeed.

I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.

I will not trade freedom for beneficence Nor my dignity for a hand out. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat.

It is my heritage to stand erect, proud, and unafraid; to think and act for myself; enjoy the benefits of my creations; and to face the world boldly and say, "This I have done with my own hand, I am a man. I am an American.

Originally published in This Week Magazine. Later reprinted in The Reader’s Digest, October 1952, p. 10, and January 1954, p. 122, lacking these words: “I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat” and “to stand erect, proud and unafraid.”

The Honorable Dean Alfange was an American statesman born December 2, 1899, in Constantinople (now Istanbul). He was raised in upstate New York.
He served in the U.S. Army during World War 1 and attended Hamilton College, graduating in the class of ‘22. He attended Colombia University where he received his law degree and opened a practice in Manhattan. In 1942 Alfange was the American Labor Party candidate for governor of New York and a founder of the Liberal Party of New York.

Dean Alfange was also Professor Emeritus at UMass Amherst and a leading figure in various pro-Zionist organizations (between other actions, in November 1943, he appeared before the House of Representatives and addressed them on the rescue of the Jewish people of Europe). He died in Manhattan at the age of 91 on October 27, 1989.


  1. I love the eagle in flight picture. This so sounds like you honey. I think I would add I am a woman, I am an American for it sends my heart soaring when I read it.

  2. Anonymous9:00 PM

    Ironically.. this quote has also been reworked into the creed of the Coffin Cheaters - a motorcycle gang.

  3. I used to think that this quote was Abraham Lincoln's original. Thanks for this detailed information.