The America n dream

The term American Dream was initially coined y the author James Adams in the book The Epic of America. In that book, Adams defined his America as a country where everyone had an equal opportunity to succeed, a land where life is fuller and more fulfilling for everyone and where the opportunities available would be awarded to a person on merit and hard work.

According to this definition of the American dream, all people are supposed to have an equal chance in life. The philosophy of the American dream is based on the belief that all human beings are equal as stated in the declaration of independence. Accordingly, professional success and the quality of life lived by every American should be based on their hard work and the fairness in the sharing of resources. The society is therefore not supposed to have any social classes or bureaucracies. There is also not to be discrimination against any person on the basis of their race, religion, gender, sexuality, political opinion or any other reason whatsoever.

In my opinion, there is a need to redefine the context of the American dream. In the first place, the dream is based on social ideals that the United States of America as a nation and as a society has not been able to achieve. As a land that initially prospered on slave labor, the American society has a long tradition of racial prejudices that has continued to plague it even up to this day. The civil rights movement was all about the realization of the rights of the minority. Minorities, especially the African American community has continued to suffer discrimination both in the society and at the workplace. With these prejudices still prevailing, the American dream as its originators saw it will still be tantalizingly out of the reach of millions of citizens of modern day America.

The American socio-economic and political system continues to be affected by bureaucratese and the resultant patronage.  As a result, opportunities and resources are not shared equally between all the people. Obviously, some population groups have had a bigger share of the fruits of this nation than others. Some communities, for example, have better educational and social facilities than others and therefore have a better chance of making it in life.

Sometimes I think that the importance of material worth of a person is given too much weight in terms of determining the quality of life. Living the American dream is supposed to guarantee each citizen a life of liberty, having the freedom to choose the kind of life they want to live and living it to the fullest regardless of what they own. That has not been the case. Racial discrimination, sexism and place of origin have been used to alienate some citizens from mainstream society. Gay rights have not been fully granted, the rates of unemployment have been rising by the day, taxation and the cost of living is rising exponentially. With terrorism increasingly becoming a threat top the safety of all Americans, there have been reports of violation of the rights of Muslims accused of participating or aiding terrorists. Seriously with such burdens on our shoulders, the American dream is going to remain or become nothing but a pipe dream to most American families.


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