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american dream

America Dreams creates a timely forum for people to consider the dreams of their past, the realities of the present and their hopes for the future. The American dream certainly a lovely catchphrase or buzzword to utter during dinner conversation. A favorite selection of syllables to put forth during a political campaign. But is there more to it than simply seven consonant sounds and six vowel sounds? Maybe at one time Americans knew what these letters stood for. Maybe they made them a reality.

Now, as I understand the American Dream, it seems that it consists of two main objectives. The first is to become a success at one’s chosen place of work, or even to create a new business. The second is a guarantee that one’s children will be able to accomplish the same with less effort.

It appears as though wealth is the cornerstone of the American Dream. Now, there is nothing wrong with this, and it sounds much worse than it actually is. The possession of money in today’s world has become a necessity. So who would not love to have more money? Wealth equals security around here, and extreme wealth means more freedom to do all the things you’ve ever wanted to do. Money is not evil, despite what many would have you believe.

But how many Americans live out this dream? Few, or at least a small minority. Is it impossible to realize your dreams? For Americans, it seems to be so. When I hear of somebody living the American Dream, it is most often an immigrant. Why is this? What makes them different? It is faith.

Many Americans have no faith in this dream, or they have no faith in themselves. The successful immigrants set goals and push themselves to meet them. It is not stereotypical of an American to have such drive. At one time, they must have been capable, as evidenced by the existence of this country, but most expect to succeed without any sacrifice whatsoever.

So the American Dream is known worldwide, but not fully understood in the land of its origin. Maybe the idea has spoiled them, and it is human nature, not any “American” mindset, that has allowed this to happen. The American Dream, as I now see it, is the setting of one’s own goals, striving to reach those goals, and encouraging others to do likewise. It is providing opportunity to yourself. Creating your own world in which to live. It is not strongly influencing another person’s life. It is pride. It is determination.