Reaching for the Dream

It is simple:

<b>The American Dream is My Dream Life</b>

Walking on American soil. Waking each morning knowing that the day is mine to seize. It is not something to ponder. It is not something to imagine. It is something I practice every day; it is a way of being. When you ask me, what is the American Dream to you is like asking me what the meaning of your life is. The American Dream is not something you understand by reading about it in a book. You have to live it, truly live it to understand what it really means. Make the most of your life. Like life, you “get it” when you get involved.

When you are planning your move, when you want to understand the American Dream. I personally welcome you to the land of opportunity. Every American who took the leap was feeling the same. You are not alone.

What The American Dream Means to Me?

No mere words could do it justice!

A Summary of American Values

What Are The American Values?

OK, so here is a quick list of those values:

  • Freedom of Speech: Speak your mind in public no matter how stupid, without government censorship.
  • Helping Others: We do not help anyone who do not need help, but we as though we are not complete if we are not helping others.
  • Hard Work: You almost have a legal right to work on yourself to become the best you can be.
  • Equality: Everyone is truly equal in the eyes of the law.
  • Opportunity: The way to success is paved; you just need to walk it.
  • Justice: The government is your servant, not the other way round.
  • Capitalism and Competition: You can start your own business, and your business should strive according to how hard you work.
  • Separation of Church and State: Religion is banned from public offices, courts, and governmental affairs.
  • Freedom of Religion: You are free to worship what you want, or do not worship at all.
  • Sacrifice: Soldiers who give their lives are highly valued. Anyone who risk his or her life to save other lives is respected for his or her sacrifice.
  • The Democratic Process: People choose who rule them.

But the most important one:

  • Individual Freedom: Your life is yours; you can be whomever you want to be, do whatever you want, anytime you want. As long, as you do not heart other’s freedom and be responsible. You are the captain of your own destiny.

This last one is the arms and legs!

I am sorry for dancing around the question: What is the meaning of the American Dream to me. If the economics is the skeleton, the values are the flesh, and the freedoms are the limbs. I still did not say what the American Dream is to me.

What Freedom Means to Me

Truth be told, the primary reason that make people leave their old lives and come to America to start a new life is an issue of economics. Money is the skeleton of the American Dream, so to speak. America is the only country in earth that provide a real chance to create wealth. We come to put food on the table. We come to achieve our fullest potential. We come here so we can have a chance to offer a better future for our children.

However, What the American Dream Means to Me?

If money was the skeleton of the American Dream, then American values are the flesh on the skeleton. They are as important, maybe more, yet they are often thought about in retrospect. Like any other country, America has its own set of values. Most of the time, it skips the attention of the average immigrant and his or her children. At some point, they realize their potential achievements in this country is coming from the American values themselves.

How? First, most immigrants never stop to examine American values the way they deserve before they sign up for immigration. In my humble opinion, this is because:

  1. Our countries did not have those same or similar values.
  2. We do understand the values, and feel our lives will not be complete without them, but we never know until we actually have them too.

A good example would be the Chinese citizens who do not care about the concept of free speech. Free speech being a firm American value has no translation in China. The Chinese know they are being censored, but they place more value on law and order over free speech. Interestingly, most Chinese immigrants in the U.S. are not here for the free speech, but for another reason mentioned above. Those in China are more concerned with the welfare of the elderly, which in the United States is becoming more and more manageable.

Another example that clarify the point is a gay Iranian. Who might happen to be wealthy, but his Islamic country is not giving him the right to be with whom he love, so he leaves it for a more welcoming country. In his case, he is seeking the values. Not the values for themselves, though, he probably appreciate the lifestyle, laws, and the society, which are all products of the values. Get it?

The Immigrant Point of View

The Immigrant Point of View

I think everyone in America has his or her personal take on what is the American Dream. Being an immigrant, I often finding myself taking a trip down the memory lane and remember where I came from, where I am now, and where I am going. I think of all the things that led to me being in this lovely country. I always conclude that I am the proud embodiment of the American Dream. I do not think America is a paradise on earth, but should she call me to protect her. I would be happy and proud to give her my life if it means she stay free and safe.

Actually, I am just your average immigrant who moved here for similar reasons that most have. For me, and I imagine for all immigrants, the face of the American Dream is one of the most prominent Founding Father. When I see his face, I immediately remember my beautiful American Dream.