The American Dream
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The American Dream

This is what it means to be an American.

The American Dream

The American Dream is something we are all vastly familiar with. We have read countless novels in our classrooms about it. We have heard politicians talk about it. We hear everyday that so-and-so is living the American Dream. Even though we live in a world saturated by this idea of the American Dream, it is just that, an idea. I have lived in America my whole life, and I honestly could not tell you exactly what it means to live the American Dream.

We as Americans live in a pretty spectacular country. We have an immense amount of opportunities presented to us. We are allowed to worship freely. We're allowed to express ourselves in a variety of ways. We're allowed to shoot off hundreds of thousands of fireworks every year just to celebrate the awesomeness of The United States. Yes, while there are some things we are simply not allowed to do, we are a country of vast freedom. Freedom to choose, freedom to be who we want. I think that's what this awe-inspiring American Dream is all about.

The United States became what it is today due to rebellion and differences. Without those who stood out and refused to accept what was being told of them, this wonderful country would not exist as it is right now. Why then do we try to put our fellow Americans in a box? Why do we seem to think that there is only one correct American Dream, and that if you're not living it you are not successful or happy?

If you were to ask your mother what the American Dream is, she may tell you that it is all about having a house, a family, and a good job. If you ask your best friend, they might say that you're living the American Dream when you've become a millionaire. If you ask an immigrant, the American Dream may be being able to be in a country where you do not have to live in constant fear. No matter who you ask, everyone is going to have their own idea of what exactly the American Dream is.

Everyone lives their own lives. That's the beauty of living in The United States. Each person experiences life differently, and I think if they are happy with the life they lead then they are living the American Dream. The fact that we have the freedom to lead different lives and be unique is what America is all about. Therefore, I encourage you to celebrate and embrace one another, not in spite of your differences but because of them. Remember that we are all here under the same red, white, and blue.

What is the first reference to the American Dream?

In his 1931 book The Epic of America, James Truslow Adams defines the American Dream as "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement."

How does the dictionary define the American Dream?

1: "the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American."
2: "a life of personal happiness and material comfort as traditionally sought by individuals in the U.S."

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