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It goes without saying that one of the most popular expressions in the entire world is “Living the American Dream”. Whether you are an American yourself, or you are living in another country =, you have probably heard this expression at least once. But have you ever spent some time thinking about what it could possibly refer to and if it is related to you in any way?
We believe that regardless the number of people we ask with respect to their most peculiar understanding of what the American Dream could mean, most of their answers will lead to one central point of view: the American Dream means to know success, to be take your destiny into your own hands and to enjoy the good feeling of freedom to the fullest. Even so, it can be deduced that there is no clear and objective definition of the American Dream, as every person has their own definition for it. The way each person defines it is influenced not only by what they have experienced by up to that moment, but also by their various mental perceptions, their worldviews and their sociological statuses.
Of course, the American Dream is heterogeneous considering the different epochs the nation went through, not to mention that each person cherishes it in their own way. It’s hardly the case that Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King or some fictional novel character such as Jay Gatsby cherished the American Dream the exact same way and with the same intensity. Even so, regardless of the person or of the epoch we associate this concept with, the American Dream was based on some clearly defined pillars:
As simple as it sounds, a person doesn’t need to much in order to obtain the tremendous achievements they have been long dreaming of. Focusing on becoming successful, following that dream that helps you to give your life a twist from ordinary to extraordinary and eventually accomplishing your ultimate dream are the only things that you’ll need in Living the American Dream. To be honest, most of us who live in America feel free in many ways, including in depending our rights, our political, moral, religious or cultural views, in expressing our ideas and opinions with respect to various aspects and we do this with such ease that most of the times we even forget that we were deprived of these rights for a very long period in the past.
Generally, the perception over the American Dream from the point of view of the Americans is widely different if compared to what immigrants have to think about it. For immigrants or even for people who have only recently received their citizenship in the country, this concept is most of the times related to an increased chance to earn more money than they possibly could when they were in their native countries, as well as a good chance to provide their children with better and higher quality education. Only later on they understand that the American government and society in general here provides equal chances to all citizens in the country in order for each of them to achieve their objectives, to make them aware that they are the only ones responsible for creating the destiny of their dream, to work hard to fulfill their dreams and to benefit from the freedom to act.
One of the best things about the way of living Americans have adopted is that they are the only ones in control of their own destinies. You may be born in a poor or indigent family, but this doesn’t stop you from becoming one of the top 5 billionaires in the US a few decades later. It’s true that the other side of the coin can also be possible – to be incredibly rich now and to lose everything to the last cent due to some bad decisions you’ve made at some point. However, this is proof that every person is free to build up their own destiny and life path without being hindered by anything, but at the same time with bearing both the negative and positive consequences of their acts and decisions.
The American Dream has several pillars that lie at its foundations and one of them is that people are encouraged to never give up on their dreams and pursuit them no matter what obstacles they may encounter in their life paths or how hard they have to work for them to fulfill. For this reason, lazy people who don’t even have the guts to try their hardest in order to succeed have very low chances to make their dream come true. If you want to become that person you’ve been dreaming of when you were little and to make your dream come true, a dream that everyone thought it was nearly impossible to fulfill, you’ll have to start with getting up of your bed and actually do something with your life, because no one will fulfill your dream for you.
After all, in its utmost expression, Living the American Dream implies that no matter the sex orientation, race, religious or political views people might have, they should all be treated with respect and equally, without others judging them by their choices. Even though racism was a major issue in the US in the past centuries, and it can be seen even today every now and then, the Americans have finally started to understand that it’s not the race or sex orientation one has that matters in the pursuit of the American Dream, but the actions and decisions one takes are the ones that truly matter.
To conclude, the freedom to act, to pursuit a dream, to take responsibility for decisions and acts, to control one’s destiny, all of them combined result in what is known as the American Dream.