The American Dream
The United States of America is one of the most powerful nations in the world. Its film, music and other entertainment products are more widely dispersed than any other countries’ and as a result the country has a reputation that eclipses even wealthier nations’. This draws many immigrants from around the world in pursuit of a concept known as the American Dream. But what does that really mean?
Initially, America as a landmass was the home of a thriving native population that was in many cases nomadic. This left large wide open spaces of land that could be settled if one so desired. When the initial immigrants came from Europe, they saw this as a gift from God. They settled areas that were available and through what was known as Manifest destiny, devised a plan to take the land from its original owners. Through this method, many who arrived in America with nothing or very little were able to work hard and become comfortable or even wealthy. This came at the expense of others, however, which is a point that is rarely mentioned.
Not long after these large tracts of land were forcibly taken, people were kidnapped from Africa and forced to work on them. As a result, the initial settlers became land owners and slave ‘owners’ and were able to amass large profits because their labor costs were very low. This created more wealth, if only for one segment of society, and many people began to see America as a land of opportunity where hard work could eventually lead to success if one stayed around long enough.
After slavery was abolished and women gained their rights, America became known not only for its opportunities but for its meritocracy. This is the trait of success being available to anyone who works hard without any barriers being placed in their way. As a result, even more new waves of immigration took place and many of these people found that dream to be true. Unfortunately, economic downturns have led just as many people to see that dream as impossible. Some have even returned to their home countries after working for years at degrading jobs despite high qualifications.
Like most dreams, the American dream can stay just that without the proper amount of effort. There are still barriers to success in the form of ageism, racism, sexism, hetero-sexism, color-ism and class-ism. Those who work the hardest can achieve despite all of that.
The American Dream
The American dream may mean pursuing a happy life with a sustainable job, a family, acquiring wealth or success in life. This vision surrounds freedom of having an opportunity to prosper in life. Thus, people have the opportunity to achieve their goals by whatever means irrespective of the nation one comes. This dream is made possible due to equal opportunity for all. For example, most people have been successful in America due to their educational achievement, business achievement. However, achieving the American dream is not a walk in the park since it requires hard work, determination, and passion. People from different countries love to be in America hence most of the immigrants are flocking the nation. Others usually feel disappointed when they are denied visas to relocate to America either to be permanent citizens or for education purposes. All these activities happen because people want to achieve the American dream.
Attaining American dream requires a career that is to be achieved amidst struggle. For example, securing a good job requires proper education which is expensive besides seeking relevant human relation skills that form part of the dream. However, this dream is accessible due to the available opportunities as well as ways to improve on a career. People require an environment where they can thrive and freely mingle to achieve the American dream, and that can only be attained due to the presence of human rights and freedom of speech.
On a separate note, American dream involves happiness which comes as a result of achievement as an individual who wants to accomplish goals such as becoming rich or being famous. However, achieving such happy life requires hard work. This idea was also supported by Bill Rancis who said, “The American Dream is still alive out there, and hard work will get you there. You don’t necessarily need an Ivy League education or to have millions of dollars startup money. It can be done with an idea, hard work, and determination” (Rancic). This quote attests that achieving American dream requires hard work and perseverance.
The American dream can also be achieved through other means apart from attaining education. For instance, many rich Americans have achieved their dreams in unexpected ways. A good example is Oprah Winfrey who is one of the gorgeous women on earth pursued her American dream despite her humble background. She was an orphan who was raised by her grandmother in poverty. On a separate note, Kevin Garnett struggled from a street, but his love for games made him a professional basketball player in the USA while Tupac Shakur who had no home became a famous rapper.
The American dream is accessible due to freedom and rights. For example, schools are free to everybody. People have equal opportunity for achievement. On the same note, people have equal opportunities for employment due to education systems that are not discriminative. The schools also offer opportunities for special options based on interests. Besides, people view American dream as laws that protect people as well as enabling them to achieve their potential. Therefore, people can contribute to the society as well as developing themselves. The progress of citizens is pegged on their protection hence through their rights. Thus, they can live healthy lives.
On the contrary, some people believe that American dream is unattainable and do not believe that it is good life or happiness as they languish in poverty, oppression, and discrimination regarding race, color, religion and gender among others.
In conclusion, even though some people feel that American dream is unachievable, it can be achieved by both the US citizens and the immigrants who are committed to their objectives of attaining a good life due to hard work, determination and having a passion for the dream.