“The American Dream” is a national ethos of the United States in which freedom includes a promise of the possibility of prosperity and success. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the United States Declaration of Independence which proclaims that “all men are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights” including “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
-definition of “The American Dream”, courtesy of Wikipedia
A conversation on Twitter prompted me to find the actual term and the origination of “The American Dream.” Today, to a large majority of Americans, the image of “Dream” is shattered into fine grains of sand. You can pick it up, and yet it slides back onto the ground between your fingers. If you asked me, Adams’ statement might have described what people back then considered “the Dream.”
Today, not so much. We’re quick to say that the “Dream” is dead. I have no argument with that. But, rather than say it’s dead, the “Dream” has evolved, but we don’t know what the new definition means to us in 2011. As Wikipedia noted, the American Dream has evolved during the past two centuries, decades, generations, and eras.
The “Dream” now has different meaning to so many people. No longer does it mean a nuclear family living in a house, with a two-car garage and a dog. It’s a whole new ball game out here, gang. Some of you can deny it all you want, but Ward and June Cleaver “isn’t walking thru the doors” again.
The same for the business world. No company isn’t handing out bonuses or salaries so that their employees can keep up with the cost of living (which has dramatically increased as the economy has plundered since 2008). Everyone’s for themselves these days. Many have decided to go into business on their own, while many are still looking for the passion that will carry them into the next chapter in their lives.
I know that many of you read this blog when you get the chance to, but never offer comment. Here’s my challenge:
What is “The American Dream” mean to you?
There is no such thing as a correct answer, because everyone has a different take on it.
I’m not writing this to hear myself talk. You have a voice (or fingers to type). How do you see the “Dream”?