The American Dream - does it still exist, o has it become a legend?
The American Dream is not the usual dream you may have during a night's sleep. It is not associated with a nightmare, bad thoughts, or a bad memory. Although, like most dreams, at times, you may see or experience something that triggers your American Dream. That seems weird. How can it be triggered the same way if it's not like other dreams you may experience? To understand this, we must first understand what the American dream is. AS I stated, it is not the same as your nightly dreams because the American dream is a concept. Look at it as the sum of all your goals in life.
It's an ideal by which there is an equal opportunity available to any American, which allows them to reach their highest aspirations and goals to be achieved.
The question I raise in this post is, does the American dream still exist, or has it become a legend? The American dream is much more than mom, apple pie, and Chevrolet. It's more than having a house with a white picket fence around it, a dog resting on the porch while your two kids play in the yard—an ideal where mom is a stay-at-home mother while dad goes to work. The best part is, he only needs to work one job.
How many of you have or grew up with that fantasy? Honestly, for you younger readers, there was a time when that existed. When I grew up, my mother was a stay-at-home mom and wife. My dad only worked one job. We had a dog. The only difference was, we lived in a two-family house with my grandparents on the first floor, but it did have a fence, and my father's first car was a Chevrolet.
LOOKING AT TODAY:
How many people live like that today? Should progression, technology, or any other form of progress cause people to lose sight of the American dream? Or never be able to achieve it? The facts are undeniable. According to a PRB study, only 7% of families account for these traditional styles of living. What about the other 93%?
Will they ever realize the American Dream? Granted, the American dream can vary depending on how people perceive it or what their goals are. However, the traditional ideal of the American dream, as sad as it is to say, has become a legend. Over time, the American dream has turned into an ideal of surviving. Regardless of the price tag. I think we can all agree as times change, people need to change them. The same applies to the American dream. The ideals to achieve the American dream are much more difficult and require much more sacrifice. This is the result of progress? I asked earlier, should progress come at the cost of changing our ideals? What if we do not want to change our ideals? Have we gotten so far ahead of ourselves that, as a society, we can no longer keep up with the pace? My God, no matter what you buy in technology today, it is obsolete before you get it, and the next model is already in production. At that pace, how can you expect anyone to keep up?
Each generation loses something from the past generation until the generations evolve so much that anything in the past becomes a legend. Progress in any form is positive as long as it does not own us or we become so reliant on it that we cannot live without it. I often ask myself, how did I survive before cell phones were invented? Now, when someone leaves their house for work and realizes they forgot their cell phone, they will turn around, go home to get it and risk being late for work. How many of you remember putting foil around the rabbit ears of your TV to get better reception? Well, that is no longer required. Because for around 200.00 a month or more, you have cable TV and high-speed internet. Now, if you want premium channels, expect to break the $200.00 thresholds. The best part is, we all do it. We all pay those ridiculous prices. Why? Because we can't live without it.
These are just a few examples of what has made the American dream become a legend. We all have traded QUALITY OF LIFE for these pleasures, and the companies providing them take full advantage of it: America, the land of opportunity and equality. So are the job employment opportunities, and I am referring to the types of job opportunities where a family only needs one income to survive that abundant? And we are still learning how to treat people as equals. Our historical violent background is still present for the same reasons—hundreds of years later.
THE AMERICAN DREAM:
Mon, apple pie, and Chevrolet. Everyone has their own version of what the American dream is. No one is incorrect. Although history has taught us what the traditional American Dream is, and its explanation is clear, many things in life are no longer traditional. Most times, not by choice, by necessity. Not everyone wants a porch with a rocking chair on it, a white picket fence, two kids, and a dog. Some want the face-paced life of the city. They crave action, adventure and crave the adrenaline rush. How many of you remember the days when nothing was open on a Sunday except for one pharmacy, and of course, hospitals. Stores were closed. If you didn't get gas on a Saturday and ran out, you were out of luck until Monday. You never saw a Christmas decoration in a store or a person's house until the day after Thanksgiving, and stores were closed on holidays. Your Sundays were spent with family. It was family day.
Although much of this refers to tradition, doesn't tradition also speak to the American dream? Why not? At the time, it's all you had and all you knew. Therefore, over time, as traditions changed, so did a person's perception of what was the American dream. However, there is far more to the American dream than tradition or a definition. The American dream is about a choice. Your choice. Most traditionalists will say the American dream is now a legend. It no longer exists. A more broad-minded individual or one from a different generation will tell you the American dream still exists. It's just different. I have said this many times. We all live in a four-generational world. Meaning, one generation is your grandparents. The next generation is your parents. The present generation is you. In theory, there could be four generations. The fourth being your children, the future generation.
With this many generations walking the same planet simultaneously, you will have four different ways of thinking. Each thinking, they know it all. However, try to tell a teenager, "They have yet to go where you have been." See how far that gets you. You see, we live in a state of four different perceptions of what the American dream is. You will rarely be able to tell your grandparents, or even your parents, today's world is better. For each of them, their world, the world they grew up in was better. Why bot? It's what they knew. People will always be more comfortable with what they know versus what they are learning as the times change. Some will adapt quicker than others, and some not at all. The key point to this segment is respect. Growing, like most kids, I disagreed with many of the concepts bot my parents and grandparents believed in and followed. Why wouldn't I? I was living during different times. What worked for them did not necessarily work for me. This is perfectly normal. We refer to this state as a phrase you are all quite familiar with. "THE GENERATION GAP."
I do not believe the American dream is a legend. I also believe the American dream still exists and still can be achieved. However, I understand and respect the fact that the American dream is different for each of us. Life has evolved. Children no longer go to college and come home. The sons don't go to work where their father used to work. People have more opportunities available to them and fall into their own specific lifestyles. The way people choose to live their life is their given choice and freedom. Both of which MUST be respected. Just because something in life does not fall into the neat mold you have created for your life does not make it wrong for others to do the same in their lives.
Many people are trapped in the thought process that if something is;t their way, what they are used to, it is bad or wrong. That is the farthest thing from the truth. Of course, depending on the circumstances, it can be true at times. However, we aren't talking about children who grow up and get into gangs, commit terrible crimes, or worse. We are talking about people in general. It is next to impossible to put a percentage on what part of the population is a criminal element because there are far too many variables. Therefore, we have to speak in general terms.
With all of this said, the American dream is alive and well. The only variable here is what each person perceives is the American dream for their life.
Stay Safe and be well,
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