American Dream: Is It Still Accessible
What is a dream? A dream is something one strives and works towards, or is it something of high expectations for most people around the world? America, notorious for being known as the land bearing opportunity, equality, and the free. People have left their homelands in search of a life on these magnificent grounds. The life they would come to live in America became known as the American Dream: a life of opportunity and assurance that their lives and their family’s life would be greater and more easy than the ones they left behind. In 2000, my parents… A bachelor degree entrepreneur husband and a loving wife (My mother), came to America in search of this dream. It did not come easy to them. They arrived to America with no prior knowledge of the nation, only the hope to build the best possible life for their future family. My parents’ transition was difficult. Starting a brand-new life in a brand-new world was tough. However, my parents accomplished what they wished for. They proved that through hard work and perseverance, the American Dream was, and will always be, accessible to those who strive to live it.
The American Dream is accessible because foreigners are able to build a life for themselves and their families in America. My own parents are a prime example of this. These are people who know nothing of the nation. They do not know the language, they do not know the culture, nor do they actually know what life in such a nation is like. As previous president Barack Obama said in his 2004 Keynote Address, “My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin-roof shack” (Obama 93). Life in other nations differs greatly from what life is like in America. Obama went on to say, “Through hard work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place, America, that shone as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before” (Obama 93). Obama proves the manner in which America was perceived by foreigners. It was not only a place to live, it was a place of freedom and opportunity. Some even considered America “magical.” Later on in the speech, Obama notes, “After the war, they studied on the G.I. Bill, bought a house through FHA, and moved west, all the way to Hawaii” (Obama 94). These are programs that were provided by the American government. These programs made this young family’s life livable. They were living the dream they once strived for.
Another reason the American Dream is still accessible is that American citizens are guaranteed basic rights and equality. As stated in the Declaration of Independence,“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (Declaration of Independence 69). Believed to be freedoms needed to live, these rights serve as an advantage to seekers of the American Dream. Being granted the pursuit of happiness means that seekers have the right to live their life in any way that makes them happy. Being granted equality means that seekers won’t need to worry if their chances at achieving their dreams are unfair because of the identities they posses. These rights make it so that seekers can focus solely on reaching their dream. However, even though the journey to each individual’s success is made a little less complicated, seekers cannot expect it to be one of ease. As William Zinsser states in his essay “The Right to Fail”, “the right to fail is one of the few freedoms that this country does not grant its citizens” (Zinsser 97). It is true that the right to fail is not one of the rights that is given to citizens in the Constitution, but seekers mustn’t be afraid to fail. Seekers cannot be afraid to fail. In fact, failure must be expected. The American Dream is achieved through hard-work, but what is hard-work without recovery from failure?
Some may say that your social background dictates whether or not the American Dream is accessible to you. Some believe that if you come from an uneducated family, the American Dream is unachievable. However, my father’s dad did not go to college, and my father’s mom did not finish high school. My father is currently living the American Dream. Some believe that being a minority in America makes the American Dream unachievable. However, my mother is an Arab-Muslim woman who wears the hijab. My mother is currently living the American Dream. Some believe that if you are not wealthy, the American Dream is unachievable. To that Barack Obama says, “in a generous America you don’t have to be rich to achieve your potential” (Obama 94). Barack Obama’s father lived the American Dream and Obama currently lives the results of this. In America, there are no barriers to one’s success.
Through hard-work and perseverance, the American Dream was and will always be accessible to those who strive for it. One’s social background does not correlate with their accessibility to the American Dream. Both my own parents and Barack Obama prove this. However, if seekers of the American Dream expect the journey to achieve their dreams will be an easy and failure-free one, they must realize that the American Dream is hard-work and hard-work means trying again and again even after one fails. The American Dream is a realistic dream, fully available to those who strive to achieve it.
- Barack Obama. “Keynote Address to the 2004 Democratic National Convention.” Springboard English Language Arts. Rebecca Grudzina. Page 93-95.
- William Zinsser. “The Right to Fail.” Springboard English Language Arts. Rebecca Grudzina. Page 97-99.
- P. Rosemarie. “Is the American Dream still achievable?”
- Renee Morad. “Is The American Dream Attainable? Yes, But You Might Want To Follow This Advice.” https://www.forbes.com/sites/reneemorad/2018/11/26/is-the-american-dream-attainable-yes-but-you-might-want-to-follow-this-advice/#14c4eabc743a
- Tasneem Khandakar. “American Dreams and American Struggles” http://threadsatcal.org/entries/americandreams