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Thomas

American Dreams

  
By:  Thomas  •  Opinion  •  6 months ago  •  48 comments

American Dreams
Insert your dream here

The American Dream, according to some, is under attack. Depending on who one listens to, it is under assault from the left, the right, Marxists, Communists, the Republicans, the Democrats, Anti-fascists, Fascists ...the list goes on. 

When I think about "what is the American Dream" I have to think it is somewhat individualized depending on who one is: how one was raised, what conditions one has lived under, what life lessons has living imparted.

So, I  am asking people to share their American Dreams as well as their thoughts on if it is under attack or doing fine or something else. 

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Thomas
Senior Guide
1  author  Thomas    6 months ago

What is my American Dream?  Well, my personal version involves financial stability and emotional security at the base. I have lived in various places about the country and have had the good fortune of finding good friends and people with different ideas who would discuss their points of view.  

For others, I would have them do as they would, but please remember that not everyone will agree with your points of view so don't try to force others to conform to your view. I see this use of governmental authority to stifle people's views happening around the world and right here in this country. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2  JohnRussell    6 months ago

"The American Dream" is financial security or financial independence. Plenty. 

-

I used to know a handful of immigrants from India and China. All of them came in here in their 20's to find a better life than they had in their country of birth. All of them said they were uncomfortable at times in America, because they felt prejudice here because of how they looked. Their American Dream was to just be accepted. 

 
 
 
Thomas
Senior Guide
2.1  author  Thomas  replied to  JohnRussell @2    6 months ago

Would you say that you have achieved your dream?  How about your friends? 

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Junior Quiet
3  afrayedknot    6 months ago

To me the Dream is to spend an evening with family and friends over a good meal. And I am lucky to do so often enough.

Too often, we take these precious moments for granted in our rush to judgment, rush to blame, rush to expound.

Please remember how very lucky we are to live in a society where we have the freedom to express ourselves, and regardless of disparate viewpoints, we do have commonality.

A great post, Thomas. Thank you for the opportunity to reflect upon our shared experiences, accomplishments, and blessings. 

Peace. 

 
 
 
Thomas
Senior Guide
3.1  author  Thomas  replied to  afrayedknot @3    6 months ago
To me the Dream is to spend an evening with family and friends over a good meal. And I am lucky to do so often enough.

Congratulations! Knowing that the people you love are close at hand. 

I fear losing my cognition more than I fear death because the important people from my life are always just a memory away. Some of them are only memories already, but resurrection is possible: just turn my mind think and there they are  (figuratively, of course). 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4  Kavika     6 months ago

''The American Dream'' presents a question to American Indians that can at best be described as multi-dimensional. 

Speaking only for me I look at myself as an original American, here before anyone else. That brings into focus my language/culture/history in America which in many ways is the opposite of what others (non-Indians) would think of as the American Dream. Most Indians live in two worlds our Indian world and the American world, at times it clashes and other times it blends beautifully. 

So my idea of the American Dream is for others to respect my race/culture/language and history and what the indigenous people have given and sacrificed for there to be an American Dream. In return I'll respect you and what you bring to America to make it great.

''All men are created equal'' is the dream for me.

 
 
 
Thomas
Senior Guide
4.1  author  Thomas  replied to  Kavika @4    6 months ago

So, do you think that you are getting closer to realizing your dream? 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Thomas @4.1    6 months ago

Having grown up in the 1940s and 50s and having participated in many protests I have seen many good changes, but I still waiting for American Indians to be something other than the invisible people. If you watch all the different polls of minorities then always show black, Hispanic, and Asian and very rarely do they have American Indians in the mix. 

The public still is stuck on showing us in the 1800s and rarely shows us as contemporary. We are scientists, engineers, astronauts, doctors, teachers, authors, musicians. 

The first anti-discrimination law was fought for by Elizabeth Petrovich (Tlingit) and passed long before the civil rights of the 1960s yet to most non-Indians she is forgotten. 

Standing Bear's speech to the court in 1879 is a classic of civil rights yet I'm sure few other than Indians have any idea who he was.

The remarkable story of Chief Standing Bear, who in 1879 persuaded a federal judge to recognize Native Americans as persons with the right to sue for their freedom, established him as one of the nation's earliest civil rights heroes.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.1.2  CB  replied to  Kavika @4.1.1    6 months ago

Kavika, if I may. . . I love it when I hear about Native Americans in the news. The good 'stuff' I mean of course. I don't like the bad stuff that any of us do which makes the News. 

If society is not seeing Native Americans (and its similar for Asians too) it may be because there is little 'outreach' to get exposure in the Native American community. Here is something interesting: I visited a Native American ran casino and serendipitously found a bulletin board which told me more about what Native Americans were doing and receiving in their communities from the casino's operation than I have seen 'published' or spoken about.

Thus, in that regard along. . .Native American people are 'invisible.'  You and Raven Wing being two of my favorite people-in the virtual world. But, I do not see around me any Native Americans though I know they are here. . . they are certainly here. . . somewheres. 

Now then, Black Americans get jumped on for being very vocal and even aggressive. Ultimately, we get results too! Why? Because we put or found ourselves as a people on the front lines of politics and we decide to "fight the power" that keeps us down and to do so with all our hearts. 

The above paragraph is not to say that Native American people do not do so. It's just that: The "squeakiest wheel/s get the most oil. That is attention. 

Native Americans its time to 'squeak!' a lot louder and a lot longer. 

Shout Native American people out to us. We as a nation would love for Native Americans to PUBLICLY join in the public debates, "food fights," struggles, which beset this nation. 

Your voices, your wisdom, your stories are missing from our shared existences here. Desperately so!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
5  CB    6 months ago

My American Dream is for diversity to truly take hold in this country and that this country doe not ever have a second civil war. Such a war would would not only be tragic to the citizens but it would tear apart and separate families. My American dream is of truly heartfelt peace in our country between its persistently fractious groups. 

That is it. 

Oh, and the heart of what Kavika's dream is. That too.

 
 
 
Thomas
Senior Guide
5.1  author  Thomas  replied to  CB @5    6 months ago

So do you see your dream coming to realization?  

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
5.1.1  CB  replied to  Thomas @5.1    6 months ago

Less now than ever before. It's despairing to see our success as a nation turn us (all to some degree) into vicious 'warriors for our causes.' Sadly, like the pendulum which swings back and forth. . .the slow arc is going up on the 'warring spirit of division' when we are somewhat weak (anemic) politically to handle it. 

Do I see my dream coming to realization?  Yes! I will keep hope alive during my lifetime. Though, we have a political rough patch and set of storms to weather before anyone can issue an all clear. Right now, we're hunkered down and bunkered politically and in some ways emotionally.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
6  Buzz of the Orient    6 months ago

Since I'm a Canadian my American Dream has to be about America and Americans.  My son's wife and their young children are all born Americans and after 17 years of living in the USA my son has finally added American citizenship to his birthright Canadian one, and I dream and PRAY for their safety in a nation that has assumed such an increase in violence.  I have never seen my grandchildren in person, only over the computer, and because distant travel is much too difficult for me at my age and physical condition I can only dream of hugging them should they choose to travel to (for them) the other side of the world to visit me. 

 
 
 
Robert in Ohio
Professor Guide
7  Robert in Ohio    5 months ago

The American Dream is more than a dream (if it is to be anything at all) and it is personal and unique to each citizen.  The American Dream is the reality of working hard to make your life and your family's life better - doing without when necessary and making one's own way in the world - accepting, help when available and needed, but not expecting that 'a better life" is a right or something that should be given to a person who makes no effort to achieve it without the help of others.

At least that is what the American Dream is to me.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
7.1  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Robert in Ohio @7    5 months ago

jrSmiley_13_smiley_image.gif      jrSmiley_28_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8  TᵢG    5 months ago

The American Dream, IMO, is the ability to make the best of your opportunities (freedom, skills, time) to carve out a financially secure and content reality for one's family.

 
 
 
Robert in Ohio
Professor Guide
8.1  Robert in Ohio  replied to  TᵢG @8    5 months ago

I agree - the individual must make the effort and not expect the American Dream to be thrust upon him/her

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  Robert in Ohio @8.1    5 months ago
the individual must make the effort

Absolutely!

 
 
 
Thomas
Senior Guide
8.1.2  author  Thomas  replied to  Robert in Ohio @8.1    5 months ago
...not expect the American Dream to be thrust upon him/her

From the context of your comment, it would seem (to me, at least) that you see someone "thrusting" an American Dream on someone else. Who would be doing this thrusting on whom?

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
8.1.3  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Thomas @8.1.2    5 months ago

[Deleted] What he said was "must make the effort and not expect the American Dream to be thrust upon him/her" In other words, get up off your ass and earn it instead of expecting someone to give it to you.

 
 
 
Thomas
Senior Guide
8.1.4  author  Thomas  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @8.1.3    5 months ago

Do you always speak for others? 

I think the vast majority of Americans do not want life just handed to them. On the other hand, I also think that offering assistance when it is needed should be part of our make-up. When we help others, often it turns around and the person who is helped can then in turn be able to help others. It is beneficial, therefore, to help where one can. 

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Junior Quiet
8.1.5  afrayedknot  replied to  Thomas @8.1.4    5 months ago

“I also think that offering assistance when it is needed should be part of our make-up.”

That has been a wonderful part of our heritage. Whether neighbor to neighbor, community to a family in need, or (gasp) government assistance when merited.

It is, or should be, a natural extension of gratitude for one’s blessings and realizing it may be a gift that may never be repaid, but is rather a selfless and thus priceless gift to all involved. Peace…

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
9  Trout Giggles    5 months ago

Hello, Thomas! How did I miss this article?

Anyway, my American Dream is much like afrayedknot's. My mother, father, and brother have all passed away so I'm grateful for the family I have carved out for myself. This family is my children, my daughter's in-laws, her brother-in-law and good friends we have accumulated and incorporated into our family. We all work hard but most importantly we play hard. That's what it's all about

 
 
 
shona1
PhD Quiet
9.1  shona1  replied to  Trout Giggles @9    5 months ago

Morning..good question? I didn't see it either but there again we are always ahead of you mob time wise..

So it must have been in our present, which is in your future which then becomes our past but your future..and by then it becomes our past but your present..

Phew glad that's sorted..now what's for brekkie...

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
9.1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  shona1 @9.1    5 months ago

I think I have a migraine now...

 
 
 
Thomas
Senior Guide
9.2  author  Thomas  replied to  Trout Giggles @9    5 months ago
How did I miss this article?

I believe you were Trout Fishing in America...

I can never get my phone to post the proper link in the YouTube app 

 
 
 
mocowgirl
Professor Quiet
10  mocowgirl    5 months ago

My American Dream was to win the lottery so I would have enough money to buy a cattle ranch in Montana where I would probably have gone bankrupt with all of the ups and downs in the cattle market.  LOL!

Other than that, I have been fortunate to live an abundant life on a limited income.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
11  JohnRussell    5 months ago

I am fine with the general concept of the American dream being financial security and stability. 

I am not fine with the idea that if you dont achieve it, it is your own fault because you didnt work hard enough. 

There are plenty of people who work very hard that dont "make it". 

Capitalism requires that a certain percentage of people "dont make it". In fact it isnt even possible for everyone to "make it". 

Capitalism, in terms of labor vs management,  is based on a race to the bottom for wages. If everyone was "making it", that race to the bottom couldnt happen. 

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
11.1  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  JohnRussell @11    5 months ago
There are plenty of people who work very hard that dont "make it". 

Ever hear the phrase "Work smarter not harder"? It's a novel concept some can't quite grasp.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
11.1.1  Tessylo  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @11.1    5 months ago

It's a meaningless cliche.  

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
11.1.2  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Tessylo @11.1.1    5 months ago

Worked quite well for me....................but I guess one would have to comprehend its deeper meaning.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
11.1.3  Tessylo  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @11.1.2    5 months ago

[Deleted]

 
 
 
Thomas
Senior Guide
11.1.4  author  Thomas  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @11.1.2    5 months ago
Worked quite well for me

I am willing to guess that you have had the benefit of help from some quarter. We do not live in a vacuum. 

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
11.1.5  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Thomas @11.1.4    5 months ago

Guess again.

 
 
 
Thomas
Senior Guide
11.1.6  author  Thomas  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @11.1.5    5 months ago

So you never had any help from anyone? I do not believe you one iota.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
11.1.7  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Thomas @11.1.6    5 months ago

I worked hard to prove what I could do. If recognizing my abilities that led to bigger and better opportunities, then yes I guess I did get help but only after displaying my worth and abilities.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
11.2  Dig  replied to  JohnRussell @11    5 months ago
 Capitalism, in terms of labor vs management,  is based on a race to the bottom for wages.

Races to the bottom can happen between serious competitors, but that's not what capitalism is based on.

What capitalism is based on is the exploitation of labor. The working class simply must be paid less than the full value of what they collectively produce in order to make profits possible for the owner class. That's what grows their capital. Labor is formulaically treated like any other input in production, to be had at the lowest price possible in order to turn as much profit as possible for the owners. The problem of course has always been that labor = people. That's the class dynamic you've probably heard about.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
11.2.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Dig @11.2    5 months ago

I think that is essentially what I was saying. 

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
11.3  Krishna  replied to  JohnRussell @11    5 months ago

Capitalism requires that a certain percentage of people "dont make it".

So how would you compare that to life under Communism...?

 
 
 
Thomas
Senior Guide
11.3.1  author  Thomas  replied to  Krishna @11.3    5 months ago
So how would you compare that to life under Communism?

I don't believe we have ever experienced such a thing as true communism.  What popular culture in America calls "communism" is more like a state controlled economy with a dictatorial political structure. 

 
 
 
shona1
PhD Quiet
12  shona1    5 months ago

Morning...seems the American dream is much the same as many other countries dream..

Similar here to what people want or wish for as over there...

Family, friends, health, wealth, stability, tolerance, acceptance and the elusive one... peace..

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
12.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  shona1 @12    5 months ago

Yes.  I don't think the American Dream is exclusively American.  I think for most people, the dream is a comfortable home sheltering a happy, healthy family, that doesn't have to struggle for security.  I think the form that dream takes can vary considerably by individual - a farmhouse on 40 acres vs. an apartment in a bustling city,  a nuclear family vs. multiple generations under one roof or a same-sex couple, a demanding but fulfilling career vs. a more laid-back one.  We all share the same dream in general, but the specifics vary, and I think acceptance of that variation is part of the dream.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
13  Dig    5 months ago

It seems to me that the American Dream has always referred to the hope of achieving a comfortable and secure economic existence, something that was sorely lacking for all those boatloads of immigrants in their former countries. 

 
 
 
Gazoo
Junior Silent
13.1  Gazoo  replied to  Dig @13    5 months ago

It’s sorely lacking for tens of millions of Americans as well, but hey, let’s spread our limited resources even thinner to help foreigners here illegally, screw the Americans that need help.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
13.1.1  Dig  replied to  Gazoo @13.1    5 months ago
It’s sorely lacking for tens of millions of Americans as well

Well, that's capitalism for you.

but hey, let’s spread our limited resources even thinner to help foreigners here illegally, screw the Americans that need help.

1) Who's helping foreigners here illegally? 

2) By help, do you mean government intervention?

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
13.2  Krishna  replied to  Dig @13    5 months ago
It seems to me that the American Dream has always referred to the hope of achieving a comfortable and secure economic existence, something that was sorely lacking for all those boatloads of immigrants in their former countries. 

I've always thought of it as there generally being basically two types of immigrants-- those that came here for economic security and those that came here for political freedom.

Some may have been OK economically in their country, but suffered political. racial, or religious persecution.

Others may have not suffered political persecution, but just didn't have much hope of economic security. 

(And of course for some it may be both).

 
 
 
Gazoo
Junior Silent
14  Gazoo    5 months ago

ooops, this should be post 13.1.2, my bad.


“Well, that's capitalism for you.”

actually that’s any system of government.

“1) Who's helping foreigners here illegally?”

really? You don’t think illegals get government assistance that could be better used to assist Americans in need?

“2) By help, do you mean government intervention?”

If you want to call it gov. intervention go ahead. I’m no expert on this subject as is nobody on this forum, but it seems to me we could do a lot more to help with drug addictions, mental healthcare, promote trades and other skills in high school so kids don’t go neck deep in debt for a college degree. And i’m sure there are many other ways i didn’t list.
i don’t like seeing anybody live in poverty, regardless of nationality, but we need to take care of Americans first.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
14.1  Dig  replied to  Gazoo @14    5 months ago
actually that’s any system of government.

Capitalism is the modus operandi of the private sector of the economy, not the government.

really? You don’t think illegals get government assistance that could be better used to assist Americans in need?

Lacking a required social security number, genuine illegals (undocumented immigrants) aren't eligible for most forms of assistance, generally only emergency medical care. But like everyone else, they pay consumption taxes on every purchase they make in stores, so there's that.

but we need to take care of Americans first

Less than 1% of the federal budget goes to foreign aid.