• What is the American Dream?

     Does the American Dream Still Exist? 

    James Truslow Adams, writing in The Epic of America (1931), coined the term “The American Dream,” and said this:  “The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”

    In light of recent situations, many feel the "American Dream" has changed, and sometimes, even that is it a myth.  Here are some interesting discussions of just such thoughts:
    • The Elusive American Dream - NYT article
      • This has fascinating - albeit sad - video as well, chronicling one man's struggle to achieve his dreams.
      • What perhaps is MORE interesting, though, is the Comments on it.  DEFINITELY check these out.
    • Bill Clinton answers the question of is the American Dream dead?  A 5 minute clip, it is worth the time to listen.
    • Class Matters: A series by the New York Times this is an interactive site that allows you to plug in where you fall in social and economic class based on your current information.  
      • Along with this is another New York Times Article regarding the difficulty of truly achieving the "American Dream" as it has become. 
    What is your American Dream?
    This is what you're to be working on as you spend time with your family and friends this break.  Some of you have got it all planned out and know exactly what you want for your future.  Others may have some general ideas, but still have to work a few things out.  Or, perhaps you don't know yet, and that's okay, too.  Most importantly, think about what it means, and looks like, to you.
    What are others' American Dreams?
    Forbes.com has an entire page devoted to this question.  Click here to read what some pretty important (and cool) people believe is the American Dream.
    Songs Lyrics
    • "Proud To Be an American" by Lee Greenwood
    • "Panther Power"  by Tupac