American Dreams

Word Count: 2370

The American Dream is different for everyone, though it is most commonly associated with success, freedom, and happiness. The concept of the American Dream seems to have dwindled from where it was in the past few generations. It has gone from success, freedom, and happiness to having lots of money and the nicest possessions. It has been said that Americans are no longer trying to keep up with the Joneses, and instead looking at celebrities and the characters they portray in films or on television and therefore expect to have greater, more expensive possessions. Americans today do in fact look at celebrities and the characters they portray and expect more possessions, but also still do try and keep up with the Joneses. Ever look at your neighbor’s new car and want one of your own? It is still very common to see your neighbor pull in their driveway with a new Porsche Boxster, then look at your Honda Accord LX and think of going and getting a nice new car that is comparable to the Porsche. There is no standardized description of being rich. Some people see money as the only way of measuring how rich someone is, whereas some don’t even see money as a factor in the equation. How to measure wealth is up to each individual. When one thinks of the American Dream, thoughts of success come to mind. When one thinks of success, it not only refers to one’s financial status, but also socially, and in health. Thoughts of freedom come to mind. As our Star Spangled Banner tells us, America is “…the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Freedom is often associated with America. Also, happiness comes to mind when referring to the American Dream. With all of this success and freedom, how can you not be happy in America? All of these aspects of the American Dream are debatable. They do not all have to be present to fulfill the American Dream. One doesn’t have to be financially well off to be successful. Having a happy, healthy family would definitely satisfy the requirements of the American Dream. If you don’t have a family, being happy with how you run your life would satisfy the requirements for the American Dream, also. These aspects are all possible trade-offs, but they can all be present, too. The idea of the American Dream from a few generations ago is different from what it is today. All of the aspects of the American Dream were fulfilled before, but recently the main focal point is the number of possessions and how much money you have. The American Dream still lives, though it is very differently perceived now than it was before. It has been said that Americans no longer try to keep up with the Joneses. They instead look at celebrities and the characters some of them portray in films or television shows, and expect to have some of the same possessions that the celebrities and characters have. The fact is that you can’t just go and buy a Mercedes because Puff Daddy drives one, and you want to be like him. It’s not that easy, unless you have the money to do it. If you do have the money to do it, you are most likely someone whose possessions are looked at and admired by those who don’t have the means to obtain them. With all of the efforts put forth to emulate celebrities and the characters they portray, the idea of keeping up with the Joneses has not died out. If you see your neighbor wheeling a brand new sixty - inch television in his or her house, it is doubtful that anyone would not want to have that sort of a possession. Not everyone will go out and buy a new television because of this, but the thought must run through their mind. My grandfather is the best example of someone who will always believe in keeping up with the Joneses. Three years ago, my father and uncle purchased new cars. My grandfather could not be shown up, so he decided to go out and purchase his own new car. Just recently, my mother, my aunt, and