American Dream Success

1276 Words6 Pages
Every single human-being wishes to thrive in some ways: getting richer, becoming famous, building a family, or getting closer to God. In various parts of the world, this aspiration is commonly referred as success. In America, success is embodied in a very broad concept known as the ‘American dream.’ Even though its exact definition can be ambiguous, it seems to be understood as an achievement. I would define the American dream as expressing one’s beliefs and opinions freely, getting well educated, undertaking an adequate occupation, earning a good income, accumulating wealth to live decently while enjoying few luxuries, and building a family; in other words, the American dream consists in living a lifestyle that fit American standards of success.…show more content…
The term good education can seem ambiguous, but in American standards, it simply means obtaining a college degree. Cal Thomas, a widely syndicated op-ed columnist, stated in his article “Is the ‘American dream’ over?” that “the rules are known to previous generations: studying and staying in school; achieving at least an undergraduate degree” (Thomas). To put it simply, a college degree has been one of the key to initiate success for a long time. A college education gives the tools to become a competent American citizen and achieve better standards of living than the people who ended their education after graduating from high school. It has become a norm that those who went further in their studies benefit of more opportunities, hence have greater chances to complete the American Dream. Most of today high-paying jobs require a college degree. A good education contributes, therefore, in getting closer to this ideal…show more content…
Today’s Americans define the American dream differently from their predecessor. Contemporary writers such as Marianne Cooper, a sociologist at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, believe that the American dream expectations have been downgraded. In her article, “The Downsizing of the American Dream,” she argued that “people are downsizing their definition of the American dream. Today, the desire to own a home or to move up economically is often replaced by a desire to be debt free and to have financial stability” (Cooper). Otherwise stated, Americans aspirations of accomplishing a better life has been replaced by maintaining their current position at all cost. They are more concerned about holding on what they already possess rather than getting more. Americans’ mind-sets have evolved to adapt to their current realities: the cost of living has increased since the past decade. Most of those Americans are still traumatized by the Great Recession, a period in which many people lost their job. Americans may have shifted priorities, nonetheless their motivation to firmly hold on their current wealth come from their deep desire to live comfortably. This aspiration toward a comfortable life is a core foundation of the American
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