I have a definition all set, but it seems like the kind of thing EVERYONE will say. I want to be original, creative, and accurate. So, i figured i'd ask you. What is your definition of the "American dream"?
Horatio Alger used to write stories about the poor and suffering and how they achieve success and happiness through hard work and determination. America was seen as the land of opportunity. In American you could achieve your dreams independent of your background or situation in life. It means that your children can enjoy greater achievements in their future. This concept is founded upon the constitution where it states that, "all men are created equal".
I still believe in the American Dream. My mother grew up as a migrant farm worker who only achieved a 4th grade education. My father was orphaned. He developed a neurodegenerative disease and couldn't hold a job after he was 35 yrs old. My family (six of us) had to learn to survive on $200 a month. We had no car, no phone, no TV. We never ate at McDonald's. We never saw a movie. We never bought new clothes. Most of our clothes were given to us by relatives. We (the kids) took up jobs as soon as we could and gave the money to my mom. My teenage years had nothing to do with sports, or dating, or hobbies, never went to a dance. I would get up at 2.m. to make tortillas in a factory. I would clean out the grease pits of restaurants. I would work at a grocery store. I did landscaping and yard work. I did anything I could. And I even went to a private high school (the public schools were really, really bad). I worked at my private school as the janitor's helper, mopping floors.
I went on to college. I worked all kinds of jobs in college, and also had to take loans, before I graduated. Then I went on to graduate school to earn advanced degrees. I had no social life. I didn't drink alcohol. I never ate out. I just worked and studied. Then I started professional jobs. I had to get used to nice clothes. I developed social skills, got married, and raised a happy family. Yes, I am millionaire, plus.
Yes, the traditional American Dream is still the one I believe in. For me, America is still the Land of Opportunity. I know that there is a modern version that says, "hey, not everyone can do that. So let's be fair, and make it easy." Today children want to believe in a cheap revision of the American Dream where success in life does not depend on your own efforts, instead it is provided by the government.
Some say owning a home is the American dream, but I don't think so. I think the American dream was, until 1920s or so, being the owner of your own business. The standard answer when people ask any immigrant why they came to America, is for a better opportunity, but an opportunity to do what? Work for someone else? They could have done that back home. A better opportunity to own stuff? Until the 1950s, the lifestyle of the poor in Europe and America differed little. No, owning a business was the American dream until around the end of World War II, because it meant that you were the author of your own fate. Now, to a certain extent that meant a home too, because we were an agrarian society until the turn of the century, and afterwards in the south, the west, and upper midwest it was and still is to a certain extent. Immigrants didn't leave New York because they couldn't afford to, they stayed because they saw the huge population and knew they could open a small business there and even among competition they could find enough customers to thrive. And when they did leave they moved to other population centers to find large consumer groups. It wasn't until the 1950s, after two decades of government regulations and rationing that starved out a lot of small businesses, and VA home loans creating suburban environments making it difficult for small businesses to build and maintain customer bases, did the thinking about the American dream change from owning a business to owning a home and working for someone else.
The American Dream is to be left alone to pursue your own goals in life.
We don't need to be babysat by the government.
It usually refers to an immigrant coming here and being able to create a better life because of the freedom of opportunities available in the U.S.
In spite of the current difficult times this country is still a desired destination for many foreigners.
The American Dream is a judicial dictatorship giving us: forced busing, affirmative action, minority quotas, and eminent domain.
The traditional social ideals of the United States, such as equality, democracy, and material prosperity.
Since I am an American, and I always dream, of owning my own four bedrooms three garage home, and own my own business, and have at least 4 children.
Being able to do whatever you want without harming others. This includes homosexuals getting married, being taught comprehensive sex ed in schools (which has been shown to drastically decrease pregnancies and STD's more than "abstinence only"), and practicing religions other than Protestant Christianity without others jumping down your throat.
Basically, "people doing whatever they want without consequence, as long as no one is hurt."
The opposite of what FOX - the foreign owned Fascist, Flag Spitting Network wants for us.