Today I am thankful for the American Dream.
Full disclosure, my friend Jeff Jensen asked several people to define and share our feelings on “The American Dream.” He also then wanted to know whether we felt this has changed over time. In thinking about how to answer this I can’t help but think how grateful I am for the American Dream.
So in my humble opinion, what is the American Dream? I can sum it up in one simple and yet insanely complex word. Freedom.
To me the American Dream is to be able to have the freedom to do what I want. The freedom to worship when, where, and to what I want. The freedom to work as hard as I would like and earn as much as I can based on how much effort I put forth. The freedom to live to my values provided they don’t hamper the freedoms of others. The freedom to voice my opinions and stand up for what I feel is right.
Personally the American Dream is knowing that I am limited only by the gray matter in between my ears. I have the freedom to act on my dreams. I can blame others or situations for any frustration or bad luck, but why bother? Why not focus on figuring out how to make it work instead of wallowing in why it won’t work. Yes, it is usually hard work chasing those goals, but it is well worth it.
I want the financial freedom and flexibility to travel often. I want the financial freedom to provide what I want for my family and friends. I want the freedom to change my dreams at any time for any reason and be able to chase them with the same reckless abandon. I want the freedom to share my dreams and voice my opinions. I want the freedom to overcome obstacles that get in the way of my dreams.
So has the American Dream changed over the years? I’m not sure as an overall society if it has. I think we all want freedom to think for ourselves, that’s just a part of who we are. In some cases I think people either forget that it’s up to them to dream up a better future for themselves or they aren’t willing to put in the hard work necessary to really chase their dreams. Maybe they need help in figuring out to chase their dreams. Regardless, I think the dream is still the same.
The American Dream is a pretty awesome thing to be thankful for. Without it there’s no blog, no dreams, no opportunity, no freedom. It’s the foundation that the rest of my thankfulness is built on. Without it there’s nothing.