Outlining the Main Aspects of the American Dream

“The road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive and passion, it’s possible to achieve the American dream. ” Tommy Hilfiger gives us a broad definition of the term “The American Dream” that most of us would agree with. The United States of America consists of a diverse society that contains a unique integration of people from various cultures, races and ethnicities. However, the notion that it represents the ideal life of an American is a very controversial topic. I believe that each person has his/her definition of the term. So, what is the more realistic definition of “The American Dream”?

The urban dictionary defines the term as “The dream of being a blue-collar manufacturer living in a suburban house with a white picket fence with your wife and two kids. The term was rendered obsolete as the American economy became based on service with manufacturing jobs being taken over by the Asia Pacific. ” I beg to differ with this generalized definition of the because we all want the fancy suburban house with a beautiful family but are we willing to work to achieve that? Upon being asked that question, we are quick to say “yes” but only a few truly achieve that dream while the others stay at home talking about the “should have’s” or “could have’s”. I believe that the ideal life for the people living The United States of America can be defined by three main subjects, i. e. , the ability/right to follow one’s dream, the right to be accepted in society and the freedom from persecution.

The first aspect of the American dream, people should have the right to pursue their dreams is one of the many reasons for introducing culture in the United States. The culture brings out the ethos appeal of the Americans who are encouraged to follow their dreams. The thriving passion in the youth can be seen in today’s society as they are encouraged by their family and friends to do the best they can. A large number of organizations and universities have been established in order to cater to the people’s area of interest or hobbies. This opportunity helps students develop thoughts and opinions of their own and gain knowledge to satisfy their interests in any particular subject. Since the very beginning, people from various countries flow in to seek better opportunities and embrace change. They come with high hopes to support a family of their own. The American dream is not something that they hope to achieve but something that they were willing to work for.

The second aspect brings out the right to be accepted by anyone. This creates an ideal society in which people are unified by living together in harmony and embracing each other’s differences. Historically, a prosperous society is one in which every person is acknowledged and differences are accepted. This point of view was clearly stated by Schlesinger’s article, “The cult of Ethnicity”.

The third and final aspect of the American dream is freedom from oppression. The United States, also known as “The Land of the free” clearly defines this aspect of the American dream. As John F Kennedy stated in his inaugural speech, “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. ” The United States elucidated it’s stand on pursuing the right of the people and not letting despotism dominate over the people.

Despite the constant change in the idea of the dream throughout the twentieth century, America has attracted people, including me, from all over the world by giving a chance to start a better life and embrace change. We, immigrants, have something in common, i. e. , the dream called “The American Dream”. My experience defines another aspect of the dream, i. e. , becoming a citizen of this country. I came into this country more than a year ago, under a temporary F1 student visa to pursue my college education and build my future. Like many other international students, I cannot skip to the part when I can say “I am an American”. I believe that once I can say that, I am truly living the American dream. Yes, I speak English. Yes, I am currently pursuing by Bachelor’s degree at Cal Poly. Yes, I love the American culture and the infrastructure. Yes, I love the diversity within California itself. But somehow I feel that staying in a country that has plans to build a wall in Mexico or prevent immigrants from entering just because “they are taking away our jobs” makes me question whether the American Dream is slowly becoming limited to the citizens of America and not the rest of the world that’s interested in living the American Dream.

During my adolescent years, I viewed the American dream as being wealthy and powerful. Without having visited the United States, being exposed to reality TV shows and Hollywood movies originating in the States shaped my assumption of living the American dream defined by the urban dictionary. However, after reaching adulthood and immediately moving 7000 miles away from my family, I viewed the dream as being able to push myself to create opportunities for myself, to use what I learn and make an impact on society, and on the lives of the people I care about and to not only help myself but also give back to the society.

Growing up, I was exposed to a culture that aimed high and focused more on building opportunities based on current trends. Surrounded by older cousins who graduated with flying color, my mom defined the American dream as her kids growing up to becoming successful “engineers” or “doctors”. Initially, I saw a conflict with my own concept of success and believed that my mom’s definition of the American dream was the right definition of the American dream. But my faith in pursuing my interests, i. e. , Architecture instead of “engineering” or “medicine” pushed me to follow my idea of the American dream by being humble, introspecting and working on my internal growth.

Despite the fact that the American dream can be defined differently for different people because every person yearns for something that he/she hopes will make him/her happy, I believe it has a set of rights. First, everyone should be able to pursue their interests and goals. Second, everyone should be accepted for who they are. Third, everyone should be free from oppression. The American dream is the ideal society that people from all over the world should try and achieve through collaboration, belief and acceptance.

10 October 2020
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