“It was freedom from want, not freedom to want-David Kamp.” This is what is wrong with the American Dream. Historically, the desire to aspire and imagine a future better than the one we were living was what drove society toward greatness. It was born out of an individual desire for a better life but has become so twisted that Americans now interpret this iconic image as free from any problems. I don’t believe the American Dream is dead. It is simply hidden behind people’s ignorance and laziness. The American Dream has always been there and always will be; each individual just has to have the determination and will power to find it and work towards it.
Life is what you make of it. People say that the best lives are the happiest ones. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people have interpreted that incorrectly-they view happiness as material wealth and easy-to-get gains. The value of the American Dream was the underpinning meant you worked for what you got-through hard work and effort, anyone could achieve anything. As Kamp states, the phrase, “The American Dream,” found its way into the lexicon- its meaning continuously morphing and shifting, reflecting the hopes and the wants of the day. Today, however, that means achieving nearly impossible things like being a millionaire or a pro football player and what seems impossible isn’t worth even attempting.
My mom says that the American Dream is “doing what you want to do, not what your class or family heritage forces you to do.” “Having the freedom, the wealth, to do what I want to do, be a mom, means the world to me,” she went on to say. “As a woman, it’s probably not commendable to say that my dreams are as simple as wanting to be a mom but I think i can say that because I do have advanced degrees.” As you can see, her “dream” has nothing to do with being a millionaire-all it takes is a lot of effort and energy.
In theory, the American Dream is different for everyone; it is something someone finds important or goal worthy. But since the average person today is unimpressed by most things in life and isn’t goal oriented, they therefore say it it doesn’t exist. Too many people believe that what you can’t see, doesn’t exist. There is such a lack of imagination and confidence in realistic dreams, that generation after generation passes on a false or dull sense of reality. One such example is in the retirement plan Kamp offers-retire at 65, living off Social Security checks. There are no guarantees in life and that is how the American Dream survives, you always have to strive for something that would be unimaginably rewarding. Despite all of the wrongs of the world today, I truly believe that the American Dream still exists, people just give a half baked effort and fail and therefore say the American Dream is impossible or a sham.
The American Dream is critical- it is what keeps our society in motion and constantly changing. Although believers are scarce, that smaller number of busy bees, still working toward that American Dream are who keep our nation alive and balance out the lack of integrity and belief in hard work.