Tonight I’ve been working on finishing the proposal for the book Ousmane and I are working on together. As I was writing the section on who will buy the book, tears came to my eyes as I wrote because I feel so passionately about how much knowing Ousmane has helped me and how much I know his story will change the lives of countless others. This is a really rough version of it, and it’s out of context, but I want to share it anyway.
As Ousmane proves, America is still one of the only places in the world where a person with the imagination to envision a new life for himself and the work ethic to make it happen can go from an immigrant with $200 in his pocket and one change of clothes to a successful business owner who leads a rewarding professional and personal life.
His story is the story of America. It’s the story that those of us who were born here need to hear to shake us out of our complacency and remind us of just how great this nation is. It’s the story that shows the power of the human spirit to triumph over adversity and the capacity of the heart to accept, love and inspire people.