Last spring I sat in my American literature class and my teacher asked us something I had never considered. Is the American dream still alive? Not a bad question considering the state of our economy. I’m going to have to say the American dream got run over by a Hummer.
In this time of instant gratification and general laziness, I believe the only people who have the dream anymore are the immigrants. That’s who the dream was for in the first place.
People who are from the US have the unattainable dream. As if someday they will quit their tiresome job as a drive-through window worker and write a best-selling novel. Maybe they think they’ll hit it big and win the lottery. It doesn’t matter what the case is; I don’t know too many natural-born citizens who are willing to get dirty to make a life for themselves.
The funny part is that our education isn’t the best in the world, and yet our people have these strange ideas that everything will work out in their favor in the end. It’s not the American dream anymore; it’s the dream 2.0. Everything in this culture should be bigger and better than it used to be, so why should we have to work as hard as our ancestors if everything is better? I guess the answer is because nothing’s better.
There is no such thing as being a powerful country forever. The U.S. is just as doomed as any other country that has such a big headed, self-serving attitude. I don’t even feel like we ever managed to accomplish the mixing pot they taught us to be so proud of in elementary school. Sorry School House Rock, but I don’t believe that a country that merely tolerates its own citizens really qualifies as a great mixing pot.
That’s not to say I think we need to have more patriotism in this country. Forget that. Patriotism only blinds people to the imperfections that make you a terrible person if you aren’t as patriotic as everyone else. Yes, I went there. We use patriotism as a weapon against people who are different. Where’s your mixing pot now?
My solution to these problems is to have less of that useless self-esteem this country has. We should be seeing problems and changing our behavior because of it, not blaming our government because everything went wrong. In the end it’s our own stupidity that put us where we are.
Stupidity is definitely based in our education system, as well as the values that we take from our home. The different cultures that used to make up this country held education to a high standard. Sadly not everyone could be educated, but at least those who were did it right. Now that everyone has access to education, they take it for granted and expect to be considered intelligent just because they have a degree in bullshitting. Don’t lie to yourself; plenty of us have gotten through certain classes on our ability to bullshit alone.
Basically, the American dream will never be for Americans. There are too many factors that keep us from working that hard or developing the skills to be more intelligent than anyone else. Maybe a day will come when we’ve dug ourselves into the hole that reaches to China, and we’ll develop a new dream.