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The folks who immigrated from Western Europe to the American colonies were certainly optimistic and willing to make huge changes in their lives. They chose to leave the familiarity of home for a new and largely unknown setting in the hope of building a better opportunity for themselves and their families.
On the other hand, the current economic difficulties are forcing many individuals to make changes in their lives that are not free choices. Those who have lost jobs may react with optimism and approach the process of searching for a new source of income with confidence and the adventure of learning new skills and finding new contacts; or they may withdraw in depression and become resigned to the overwhelming futility of fighting the system that seems so much bigger than the life changes that were thrust upon them.
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