Does the American Dream need to be redefined?

Does the American Dream need to be redefined?

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The concept of the American Dream has powered the aspirations of Americans for generations. People are forever redefining and analyzing the concept, yet with each attempt to clarify the American Dream it becomes more incoherent. As time proceeds, it is safe to say that everyone has a different dream; thus, making the American Dream concept indefinable. Every generation believes that their children would have more access to more than they had. Many people are raised with the expectations that the material part of the dream will be achievable. Americans are redefining what it means to be better off. The American Dream is adapting to the mindsets of new generations, adjusting to societal and economical changes and departing from the historical definition it once was.

The concept of the American Dream, once based upon homeownership, is now based on becoming debt-free. During the Great Recession, five million people lost their homes. The value of residential real estate fell by trillions of dollars. The American Dream of homeownership faded. In his article “The New American Dream: It’s Not What You Think,” Adam Levin, Co-founder of Credit.com, highlights how “...the failure to own a home is generally not a source of stress in the same way that drowning in debt and the inability to retire are.” Levin’s assertion emphasizes the importance of debt to consumers and the role it plays in shaping the ideology of the American Dream of the white picket fence. The American Dream acclimates to new generations by reflecting how their outlook on what it means to be better off.

As a result of lowered standards of living expectations, the American Dream shifted from opportunity-based to security-based. How people interpret their American Dream depends on what they believe is more important. In the Atlantic’s “The American Dream: Personal Optimists, National Pessimists,” Don Baer and Mark Penn accentuate how Americans prioritize flexibility and economic security more than marriage and having children. Clearly, Americans favor the idea of living comfortably over being affluent

As economic hardships and societal changes occurred, the definition adjusted once again. The notion of the American Dream, which can be traced back to our Founding Fathers, at first stressed the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The historical context of the American Dream transformed the simple concept into a complex ideology. After the Great Depression, homeownership became Americans’ life goal. In his article “The New American Dream: It’s Not What You Think,” Adam Levin details how his survey depicts the change in what the American Dream is. He states, “...in the past, the hallmarks of the Dream were a white picket fence and a couple of children, now just over one in four respondents names ‘owning a nice home’ as the most important ingredient of the American Dream.” The American Dream, which was once collectively defined as one thing, is now ambiguous.

The American Dream has not withered, it only changed. America once shared a similar concept on what exactly the American Dream is. As time went on, we became a country of individuals, redefining and personalizing the American Dream. The American Dream correlates with the notion of individualism. This concept encourages people to achieve their dream whether it be to own a house with a white picket fence, retire by the age of 65 or become financial stable. The American Dream should not be redefined because of the fact that it cannot be defined.

Cover Image Credit: Blessed Are the Weird

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To The Grandmothers Who Made Us The Women We Are Today

Sincerely, the loving granddaughters.
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The relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter is something so uniquely special and something to be treasured forever.

Your grandma loves you like you are her own daughter and adores you no matter what. She is the first person you run to when you have a problem with your parents and she never fails to grace you with the most comforting advice.

She may be guilty of spoiling you rotten but still makes sure to stress the importance of being thankful and kind.

Your grandma has most likely lived through every obstacle that you are experiencing now as a young adult and always knows just exactly what to say.

She grew up in another generation where things were probably much harder for young women than they are today.

She is a walking example of perseverance, strength, and grace who you aim to be like someday.

Your grandma teaches you the lessons she had to learn the hard way because she does not want you to make the same mistakes she did when she was growing up.

Her hugs never fail to warm your heart, her smile never fails to make you smile, and her laugh never fails to brighten your day.

She inspires you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

You only hope that one day you can be the mother and grandmother she was to you.

A piece of girl’s heart will forever belong to her grandma that no one could ever replace.

She is the matriarch of your family and is the glue that holds you all together.

Grandmothers play such an important role in helping their granddaughters to grow into strong, intelligent, kind women.

She teaches you how to love and how to forgive.

Without the unconditional love of your grandma, you would not be the woman you are today.

To all of the grandmothers out there, thank you for being you.

Sincerely,

the loving granddaughters

Cover Image Credit: Carlie Konuch

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Poetry On The Odyssey: You Don't Control Me

If I could speak to my anxiety, here is what I'd say.

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Anxiety,

You have controlled my life for way too long.

My constant fears hold me back from so many things I want to be able to do.

Your presence makes me a person I don't want to be.

You make me feel scared and alone when I know that I am not alone.

You don't control me.

I am not free to be myself when you are around.

There is no use for you, and you should be ashamed for making me feel sick, nervous, fearful, not good enough.

You have been a little monster, harboring inside of me for my whole life.

Whispering "You can't do that" in my ear when I dare to get out of my comfort zone.

You don't control me.

I am fully capable of doing great things and living without you.

I have a wonderful support system of people who believe in me and help me crush you every day as you deserve.

I will be brave, be bold, enjoy life more.

This is me saying "Sayonara Anxiety."

You don't control me.

I am going to take my life back from your filthy grip.

I am going to live the life I've dreamt of.

I am going to be adventurous and take risks.

I am going to be myself.

You don't control me.


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