What Does the American Dream Mean to You? | Janice S. Ellis, Ph.D.
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What Does the American Dream Mean to You?

what does the american dream mean to you

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What does the American Dream mean to you? The notion of the American Dream, that every citizen of this country is free to create a life of prosperity and happiness, has been an iconic one that defines and memorializes what these United States suppose to embody. Like Apple Pie, the American Dream is such a part of our collective psyche and culture. Like Apple Pie, it is something we think we want whether we have had the opportunity to taste it, achieve it, or not?

What does the American Dream mean to you? Do you believe it is just an empty patriotic idea or something that is really attainable? Do you believe in those inalienable rights of, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” that are the foundation of that sacred document, the Declaration of Independence of the United States.

Historically, the notion of the American Dream is almost as old as America itself. It is part of and suppose to define the American experience almost with such weight and importance as the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Constitution. Being able to achieve the American Dream is the very embodiment of those sacred documents, in the the very promise of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

But, like the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and U.S. Constitution, does the freedom or opportunity to achieve and live out the American Dream apply equally to everyone? What does the American Dream mean to you? Based on your experience in America to date, do you think you have an equal chance to achieve it, have achieved it, or will be able to?

Some define the American dream in terms of being able to get a good education, finding and growing in a good fulfilling job, owning a home in a good neighborhood, and for many finding the love of his or her life, settling down and having children. For others, finding and achieving the American Dream can be something different entirely.

what does the American Dream mean to you?

What Does the American Dream Mean to You? Photo Credit: NEFE.org

The American Dream simply means the freedom to pursue whatever endeavor one wishes and be successful at it, whether it is an accomplished artist or architect, baker or barber, clergyman or counselor, driver or dancer, educator or explorer, fireman or farmer, gardener or gymnast, whatever occupation or profession one can image from A to Z.

Irrespective of race, gender, age, or socioeconomic status, every citizen of these United States should have equal access and opportunity to pursue their American Dream. We are all entitled to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

In the current educational, economic, political, and social environments, do you think the iconic quest of the American Dream is realistic and achievable?

If so, what is your dream? What does the American Dream mean to you?

Feature Photo Credit: TV-Tropes.org

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What Does the American Dream Mean to You?
Janice Ellis
Janice Ellis

Janice S. Ellis, PhD, author, has written a column for newspapers, radio, and now online, where she analyzes educational, political, social and economic issues across race, ethnicity, age and socio-economic status. You can see her writings on this website under the headings of “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow” and “Above & Beyond Race.”
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