Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Think before you Answer

American literature in the 19th and 20th centuries deal with one of two conflicting ideas:
  1. The “American Dream” provides boundless opportunities to be better than your parents and you need only to find the right way to take advantage of it
  2. The crushing class struggle will limit and hold you into place no matter what you achieve or accomplish.
In the sixth year of the 21st century (remember there was no year zero) what is the “American Dream” mean to you?


  1. Thank you for pointing out that there was no year zero.

    I think there's a balance between the two lessons. There's opportunity, but it sure seems like the odds are against the common man. -- Maybe I should re-think it after my rent check clears...

  2. I have always taken the "American Dream" to imply something greater than myself rather than simply a list of what I think I should personally be able to acquire or reach. To me, my American Dream is to be able to spread the blessings, freedoms and happiness that I have in my life with those who don't. Be they other Americans, or not, that is my American Dream. Balance. Balance of necessities, of luxuries, of blessings of hope, of freedom, of happiness, of safety of everything. That we (the world) might all have 'enough'.

  3. The American Dream is all about "opportunity". And there is no other place that has as much opportunity as this country does. "Opportunity" does NOT equate to "Easy", though. Opportunities are hard to find. We just happen to have more available to us than most people. I think that it IS harder if you are not "well-off" to make it in this world, but only because of the mentality that is drilled into you if you belong to that class. "Live below your means." "Pinch your pennies." Not necessarily bad advice, but it breeds a certain mentality that basically... keeps you down. It makes you forget about that good 'ol American Dream. People stop trying to succeed and therefore lose sight of their goals. Or worse, they stop having goals.

  4. Keeping an open line of credit.

  5. I think for most, the American Dream is "keeping up with the Jones". It's why people in America have little savings and maxed out credit cards.

    To me, the American dream is the right to purse what makes me happy--with it be in the form of religion of my choice, a successful career, a solid family or all of the above.

  6. wife, kids, dog, and a house with a white picket fence. isn't that the actual description of the american dream? i'll pick and choose the dog and the house only. that's my american dream. and like kbob said, open lines of credit. ;)