The American Dream

Carlos - Harrisonburg, Virginia
Entered on September 14, 2008

Do you know what is so great about this nation? Have you ever really thought about it? I know I have and my train of thought always leads me to the American Dream. But what is that dream? The American Dream, as I understand, it is the dream of success in whatever you wish to accomplish in life. Think about it! Where else can you practice free speech or your own religion without persecution? This country has moved past the discrimination that it use to have. No matter your religion, race, or gender you have a shot at success and this is because of the opportunities that the American Dream offers to the people in the United States.

Before this country even existed, people from England came over to practice their religion without fear of persecution. Then the founding fathers in developing the Constitution made sure that the people would not have to worry about their religious practices. What does this have to do with the American dream? It has everything to do with it, because in some countries they still do not have this freedom and religion is important to many people. In those countries people of a different religion are exiled or sometimes exterminated. Here in the U.S. no matter who you are, where you are from, whatever your belief, you can praise your God without fear.

In the past there have been things that held people back; things that they could not help, such as race or gender. Landmark events have changed this, beginning with the nineteenth Amendment. It was a major step into the equal rights for women. Then there was the Civil Rights movement with the Supreme Court case Brown vs. the Board of Education, each giving blacks better odds than they had with the American Dream. The recent Presidential election exemplifies the progress this country has made in providing equal opportunity. We have Barack Obama and Sarah Palin both running for two of the most important positions in the world.

The American Dream is not just handed out; however, one’s success is achievable. We are truly fortunate to live in this country, because in places like India the common man does not stand a chance to accomplish much. They are born into social classes where they have little to no chance in moving up to a higher class. The public education system gives the youth of America the opportunity to seek higher education. The nation sets up the type of environment one needs to accomplish the American Dream. The only thing that you have to bring to the table is the ambition to chase that dream.

What is so great about this country? You could answer the many freedoms the people have or that your ethnic background and gender have no say in what you can do. These factors, however, are only part of the bigger picture. I sincerely believe in the American Dream, that people are not held back by their race, gender or religion, but that they all have the shot at success in the United States of America. My name is Carlos Ruiz and this is what I believe.