Have you ever heard the expression “American Dream”? You most probably have, however, have you ever thought what this concept could actually mean and how it is related to your life? If we simply ask most people about their peculiar understanding of the American Dream, the majority of answers can be easily shortened to a simple one: the American dream is to become successful, to be a master of one’s own destiny and to enjoy the freedom in its utmost expression. However, there is no direct or absolutely clear definition of the American dream, as it is viewed by people on the basis of their different worldviews, mental perception, sociological status and time background. Yes, it is definitely heterogeneous as far as different epochs are taken into account. It can hardly be imagined that the American dream cherished, for example, by George Washington, Martin Luther King or by a fictional character Jay Gatsby, were ideologically similar. However, the American dream for any person and for any epoch has always been based on the following pillars: freedom, equality, control over one’s destiny and an incessant pursuit of one’s dream.
Concentrating on becoming successful, dreaming to twist one’s life from ordinary existence to something truly meaningful and accomplishing one’s ultimate dreams are the drives that can lead a person to tremendous achievements. To be honest, we, people who live in America, feel free to act, to defend our own political, cultural, religious, moral views and rights, and we are not afraid of expressing our opinions to such an extent that we forget that this freedom has been upholded for a lot of centuries. We are used to it and often overlook and neglect the freedom we have, whereas the immigrants from other countries simply cherish this worldview doing their best to become an integral part of the American society, facilitating the process of cultural assimilation by all possible means.
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It goes without saying, that the perception of the American dream vastly differs if we compare views of immigrants and people who have lived in this country for their whole life. For immigrants, or for people who have just received American citizenship, this notion may be directly related to a chance of earning more than they could in countries where they were born, a chance of giving proper and substantial education for their children. Later, they also come to an understanding that the American society gives fair chance to all of its citizens to achieve their life goals, makes them believe that they are the only creators of their destiny, and that they are free to act, to work strenuously to make their dreams come true.
One great thing about the American way of life is that people are in control of their destinies. One may be born in an indigent family but become a billionaire 40 years later. However, the other way round is also common, so people feel free to build up their own life paths, not being hindered by any cast or prejudiced sociological divisions, although they bear both positive and negative consequences of their decisions and actions. ? One more pillar of the American Dream is based upon the assumption that one should pursuit one’s dream without ever giving up, without ever doubting oneself despite any obstacles or sufferings life can put forth. A person who is lazy, who is not willing to try his/her hardest is likely to achieve no success, to fail and finally, to be despised and forgotten. Therefore, despite any possible limitations and obstacles, a strong desire to give up, insurmountable challenges, unbearable hardship, one should always strive for his dreams as it is the main drive of human’s life. Never say someone that you cannot do something – this is also a peculiar example of the American dream.
The American dream, in its utmost expression, suggests that all people despite their race, sex orientation, political views, and religion should be treated equally, as individuality of each person should be valued by the society rather than being judged. Having been faced with the racism issues for two centuries, our society finally realized that no matter what race you could be, you would always have a chance to find your own American Dream.
To sum up, the American Dream is freedom to act, freedom to take responsibility for one’s actions, freedom to pursuit one’s dreams and life goals, freedom to choose one’s destiny. As for me, this is the ultimate expression of true democracy.