American Dream Article SOAPSTone

6 June 2016

Remember when you were a child and somebody asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up? Personally, I wanted to be a NASCAR racer. I know, a little far-fetched if you think about it. When we were children we were so optimistic.

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We hardly accepted failure. This was the time in our lives when we sincerely believed in ourselves. We believed in the American Dream because it was instilled in our minds by our parents that we could be anything we wanted to be.

We dreamed without limits. The American Dream can be generally defined as living a prosperous and fulfilled life. As Americans when we consider the American Dream we think of being rich, but if you ask a foreigner what their idea of the American Dream is, you will most likely get an answer that has the words, “freedom, equality and opportunity.” The American people have changed the definition of the dream over time, defining it as a word that signifies the hope of becoming rich and prosperous.

Today we have moved away from the belief that anyone can achieve the American Dream. Bob Herbert, an op-ed journalist for The New York Times, wrote in his article, Hiding from Reality “However you want to define the American Dream, there is not much of it that’s left anymore.” First year student Nia MooreWeathers said, “the American Dream was more achievable when the economy was growing in the 20th century, but the American dream has changed its definition therefore it is different.

It may not be the same for everyone.” The idea of the American Dream has definitely changed over time. Today’s version of the “American Dream” was created during the time around the Great Depression of the 1930s. This was the time when people believed they could succeed from rags to riches.

Nowadays, that idea has faded. First-year student Dora Castillo said, “I feel like the American Dream for the most part is everyone wanting the same thing. They want to flourish and succeed in this country, but the only difference is that everybody wants to succeed in different things. I feel like nowadays especially in our economy it is hard to achieve anything.

It’s even hard to achieve an education. Everything is about money.” It is clear that people believe that the universal ideal of the American Dream is rather difficult to achieve since our economy is at a downfall; this is why people have become pessimistic about the American Dream.

Personally I think achieving the rags to riches American Dream is a one in a million, luck-based accomplishment that is nearly impossible. I believe the more resources and connections you have your chances of achieving your goals are higher, but that concept is based off of pure luck. The sad reality of the matter is that many people give up easily or accept the reality of the situation they are in. Everyone has said, “Dream as if you’ll live forever” but if you were to look at the lifestyles and goals people have, no one lives by that phrase.

As college students, we all have similar goals. We want to get through school in order to someday have a secure career. A majority of us do not dream of becoming the next Bill Gates because we are realistic. People are aware of the hardships our country is facing; therefore we dream of what we know is an appropriate approach to the American Dream. It is sad that the Dream is not as optimistic as it was in history, but time changes everything.

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