The New American Dream
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

The New American Dream

I don't think I'm the only one who thinks the old one is outdated.

189
The New American Dream
The Minimalist Vegan
It's all part of the plan and you know it
Do the work for a rich man to turn in
You get what you deserve
And you deserve what you're born in
So quit complaining

You can be anything you want
But you're nothing at all, nothing at all
The American Dream is falling
Into nothing at all, nothing at all
~“American Dream” by Cereus Bright

The American Dream has always been a bit troublesome to me, and maybe these lyrics touch on why.

It’s inspiring that the American Dream says you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps, rise above your station and all that jazz. Theoretically, you’re never trapped in a low socioeconomic class. You can make your business, earn your way, follow your dream.

However, that same American Dream says a few less desirable things along the way. It says that if you haven’t reached a certain level of success, you haven’t worked hard enough for it. And since you haven’t worked hard, you don’t deserve success anyway. The American Dream says you’re not American enough if you don’t have a certain life outcome – you have less worth if your hard work doesn't pay off.

My third Living Room Conversation concerned this topic. And thank goodness for diversity of perspectives because I had a pretty cynical outlook on this one.

The participants of our conversation made a sort of proposal: What if our generation has a New American Dream?

What if we stop pressing upward financially, with pressures of success and a predetermined way to achieve it all? What if we expand the American ideal beyond starting a career, getting married, buying a house and settling down? What if the Dream leaves a bit more elbow room than that? What if one person’s winning their dream doesn’t mean a lifelong loss for another person?

What if the millennial American Dream is less about selfishness, extremity and achievement and more about moderation, fulfillment and fairness?

Maybe the New American Dream is about travelling to learn about the world. Maybe it’s about education – to learn about the things you don’t know and didn’t know you don’t know. It’s likely about pursuing what will bring you joy and meet the world’s needs, rather than stomping your way to "the top" no matter the costs.

I think the American Dream is getting a new face, and that makes it harder for me to hate.

One of the questions we talked about in our conversation was, “How are you inspired by your personal American Dream?” Our answers showed that the American Dream is alive and well, and it doesn’t fit into the same box it used to.

We were all women, all pursuing different career paths through various courses of study; and as one person in the group noted, ”This wouldn't have even been possible one hundred years ago. It’s only possible because of other people’s American Dreams.”

I can attend a good college although I can’t really afford it. Scholarships and financial aid and support and the draw of education and the grace of God have put me here just as much as (likely much, much more than) my own hard work and the passion of a "dream."

The American Dream can’t be as individualistic and unfulfilling as climbing a ladder to the top. It’s got to be more about provision of resources for yourself and others to help reach a goal that meets a personal and communal need.

Let's dream something that makes the world better.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

My Top 50 Spotify Songs From 2021 That Are Must-Listens

Thank you Spotify wrapped for curing my seasonal depression!

3886
My Top 50 Spotify Songs From 2021 That Are Must-Listens
Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels

Spotify Wrapped recently came out and is absolutely fueling me through these last few days of the semester. Here are my top 50 songs from 2021.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Are New Year’s Resolutions Overrated? Why Not?

Every year, the same debates spark around the idea of new year’s resolutions. Some people think it’s the perfect time to turn over a new leaf, while others point to studies that show the failure rate of these resolutions. Spoiler alert: most fail.

28448
New Year’s Resolutions Overrated

Every year, the same debates spark around the idea of new year’s resolutions. Some people think it’s the perfect time to turn over a new leaf, while others point to studies that show the failure rate of these resolutions. Spoiler alert: most fail.

Keep Reading... Show less
How to Use Your Passion for Writing to Complete Academic Essays

Academic paper writing is often considered one of the most dreaded parts of college for students. Most people hate it, even if they are into writing in general. Many students feel like it puts them into a box where no creative expression is possible. Like having to use a more formal tone of voice and thinking about referencing restricts one’s flow of thought.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How Long Would It Take To Mine A Bitcoin?

No one will give you the correct answer to this question because there are a lot of details that they need to know. But, you can roughly estimate it based on the equipment you have a few more factors. One thing that needs to be mentioned is that mining has changed a lot over the years.

70523
Mine A Bitcoin

they need to know. But, you can roughly estimate it based on the equipment you have a few more factors. One thing that needs to be mentioned is that mining has changed a lot over the years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

5 Cakes You Need to Try This Winter

Spending the winter trying different cakes can be a great way to combat seasonal depression. Lift the spirits of your entire family by trying these five cakes.

64565
Try This Winter

The winter can be a dull time spent indoors with very little change. But, it doesn't have to be that way. There are plenty of ways to spice up your daily routine, and dessert is one of them.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments