The American Dream was coined by James Truslow Adams, who is credited with coining one of the best terms in history. During the Great Depression of 1931, James imagined a new America, one free of the stings of unemployment and unjust treatment of women. According to James Truslow, “life should be greater and fuller for all, with opportunity for everyone according to talent or accomplishment regardless of social status or birth circumstances” (Martin C. Jischke 315). Thomas Jefferson also had the concept of having America with an equal opportunity when he said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (Martin C. Jischke 315).
From the words of James T. Adams and Thomas Jefferson, I can define the American dream as a national belief and culture of the American citizens in which the Americans believe that an opportunity spiced up with desire, and hard work can help everyone meet their dreams. In the culture, I believe that there are a set of ideals which Americans hold dear such as democracy, liberty, equality, and opportunity for all. I hold the same opinion as Martin C. Jischke that American dream is not only an opportunity to acquire and succeed but also an opportunity to give back to the society and help the least fortunate in the society.
American dream means a lot to me. One, the dream gives me hope that all my ambitions can be fulfilled in America since it is the land of opportunity. A land which will ultimately help me in unleashing my full potential and attaining all my future goals. Two, the American Dream reminds me of the basic moral obligations that I owe to the society. The dream envisaged a society with an upright social culture where no one would take advantage of others, a society free of crime and corruption. Three, American Dream reminds me of equality of all human beings including the non-Americans. It means to me that in America, anyone can get an opportunity to access education and other services and that the opportunities are not reserved only for the Americans.
The American dream is not for my prosperity. I hold the same views as Martin C. Jischke that the America dream is not just the dream for individuals but a dream for the nation. I also believe that American dream is not just for my prosperity as it holds a view that I should also give and serve other people in need, giving them the same opportunities I was given. However, the American dream encourages me to be better than my parents in as far as unleashing my potential is concerned.
We, as a people, are very optimistic about the American dream. I realize that the ideals conceptualized in the American Dream are the same ideals which our leaders believe in. Besides, Americans swear allegiance to the national flag because they all believe to be one people and that all Americans deserve equal opportunities. I strongly believe that American Dream is the best idea ever conceptualized in America and I am greatly inspired by it.
Martin C. Jischke, “The American Dream,” Vital Speeches of the Day 73, No. 7 (July 2007): 314-315