The Big Myth: The American Dream


Finally, campers, we come to one last item, a fixture of our national mythology embedded in our identification of ourselves as “the land of opportunity”:anybody from anywhere on earth can  come to the USA and go from rags to riches; the sky’s the limit for those who work hard and persevere. Unlike in some countries, commonly held ideas are the glue that holds us together as a nation.

Each succeeding generation expects to fare better financially and socially than the parent generation. It may have been true for a while for some. However, as a member of the first generation of Americans who did not rise higher than their parents, I can say that the American Dream (as pictured above) is just that–a dream. It surprised and angered me at first. I felt like I had somehow been duped; bamboozled; cheated. Somebody lied. I was a nice kid; quiet, docile and feminine; never gave my parents an hour of trouble; got good grades and stayed out of jail. Success should have just walked up and kissed me on the lips.


Future professionals, take the Myth of The American Dream with a tablespoon of salt. Pass it right through the system ASAP. In order to move on to the reality, I found it necessary  to examine deeply held beliefs about success, career, and everything else in life under strong, unfiltered light. Are you in that place on your path of self-development? Refuse to simply parrot the so-called “truths” as touted by the culture. Understand exactly what school is really set up to do. Forgive your parents, friends, relations, enemies and mentors for passing on all their off-base advice. Forgive yourself for misguided movements in unproductive paths. Just as you were born largely unfinished (could we stand on our own hours after birth?; are humans grown in a year?), upon graduation from High School and College, your education is largely unfinished. Who is responsible for completing your life learning?



Get some pool time in before first semester begins. Have a great summer.sun