58 letters on the American Dream from San Marcos University students, San Diego, California, USA
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letter 59: Hans Rottunda

“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.” (Declaration of Independence). That is what the American dream means to me; to live as I please, to have rights, and to be able to create enough wealth so that I can work for fun. I personally don’t know how it feels to not have these rights but my family does. I believe that the American dream has changed and people have failed to realize the value of the American dream.

My mother is someone who understands what it is like to not have rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness because she was born in Iran. My mother was a Russian-Armenian who lived with both of her parents, two brothers, and one sister. Over in Iran: the Shaw of Iran was automatically a partner when you started a business, the government could take your land away whenever they wanted, women could not travel unless they got permission from their husbands, and when you voted there was only one person running for that position. My mother came over to America during the revolution in Iran and when she came over she was amazed and grateful for all of the rights and freedoms that were bestowed upon her.

Many people are very ungrateful of their country today. They complain about silly things like not having the government pay for their cable or not having any government sponsored daycare. Where back in Iran if you said anything bad about the government they would come to your house kill you and your whole family. People fail to realize what a great country we live in and that we have rights that protect us from the government.

The American dream today appears to be a house with a white picket fence and pool. This dream is not a bad dream, but it is related what I believe to be the American dream; life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The painting from class has America symbolized as the land of liberty and money. America is the land of equal opportunity and equal treatment. Most people in America do not realize that we are the only country that has three undeniable rights. To me the American dream is more than a house with a white fence, to me the American dream is the freedom to be equal (not the right to be equal), by having the opportunity to become equal.