58 letters on the American Dream from San Marcos University students, San Diego, California, USA
letter 52: Jason Gonzales

What is the American Dream? Writer James Truslow Adams in his 1931 book Epic of America first used the phrase “American Dream”. He explains, "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 modern day America, everyone has there own interpretations of the ”American Dream.” The first line of the definition of this phrase, when found on Wikipedia states, “Most Americans have been manipulated into believing that the American Dream is success, wealth, or material possessions.” This idea may not be a manipulation. Success, wealth, and/or material possession may be the American Dream of some, and most feel it is that. They feel it is achieving a fortune 500 job, driving an expensive sports car, and living in a pent house suite as a bachelor/bachelorette. Others feel that it would be earning a well paying job that allows them to support their family of four, while living in a two story house with a white picket fence. And those who may have come to America from another country may a very different idea of their own American Dream. Most have dealt with hardships in their home countries and have come to the U.S. to find a better lifestyle for themselves and their families. But the American Dream is so much more than these ideas. The American Dream is not a goal that one can achieve, as most see it. It is a concept. It is the freedom and opportunities to achieve those goals. It is the freedom and opportunity to make those choices we feel are suitable for our, and our families, own wellbeing. I feel the American Dream can be described quite well in a single sentence:

“My American Dream is (you dream here)!”

The reason for the blank, stating “your dream here” is that the American Dream is different for every individual. The American Dream is not one single goal to be achieved. Again, it is a concept. It is something to be filled and followed through with. It is a space to be filled by anyone who has ever aspired to find something better in there own life, and even sometimes in the lives of others. No one has the right to fill our own bank. By living in America, each and every one of us has that opportunity to fill that blank how we see fit, to the fullest extent. And once that blank has been filled it is our right to make that dream come true. It is our responsibility to take on any hardships that may get in the way when striving to fulfill that dream.