the american dream

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Lanolin, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. I just like to ask any americans on this forum...what exactly is the american dream?
    And...are you living it?
    Or is it just an illusion?

    Does it have anything to do with Martin Luther King's speech?
  2. I am an american, but didn't know what the american dream was, but wikipedia say this: The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers.
    Fish Catcher Jim likes this.
  3. It was more of a reality when the constitution protected individual rights, but as the constitution is being usurped to extend those rights to corporations, the rights of individuals are being subjugated to the corporate collective. Now the amrican dream is only real if you keep your blinders on and pull that corporate wagon lie a good little nazi.
    When I lived "the dream" we made $100k a year. I voted straight Republican ticket since 1980. I was a lifetime member of the NRA. I had a right-to-carry license. The whoe facade. I bought into it hook, line and sinker. Back then, I would've told half the people on this forum to quit their whining and get back to work.
    For those unable to pull the corporate wagon, the whole thing is a rigged facade.
    dUmPsTeR likes this.
  4. The American dream was the idea that your abilities and how you applied them would determine your economic and social destiny. It is still as real as the fortitude of the dreamers. Some have misunderstood it to mean that it is everyone for their selves, in the sense of "leave me and my stuff alone". These have forgotten that the American dream was also about helping your neighbors and being helped by them and the common comunity which is more encompassing than just welfare for the poor.
    Abdicate likes this.
  5. Where do you live?
  6. The generalization of the (modern) american dream can be drawn out in a timeline such as this

    Be born in a middle-high income neighborhood
    Go through the public school system with little to no conflict. Fitting in with some group, getting decent grades
    Graduate highschool and go to college
    Go to college
    Get a career after college
    get married, buy a white picket fence house and have kids
    retire at 65

    Its not limited to the US though, many other 1st world nations operate somewhat like this. All of it also includes financial security and safety.
    As Christians, we should not be living the american dream, because it is a fallacy. It's a false sense of security and it makes us believe that we are in control. Most "Christians" who pursue the american dream are the ones who put the "God is my co pilot" sticker on their car. If they go to church, its for the social aspect.
    Robine, dUmPsTeR, Angela333 and 2 others say Amen and like this.
  7. Your description sounds like my parents, especially my dad
  8. Well from a worldly perspective, there is nothing wrong with it. On paper, it sounds good. You get your social group, your freedom, your financial security, a family, a 401k and an overall sense of safety that you made.

    However as Christians, we shouldn't be this way, we should live "unsafe" by the world's standards. We should give out of love, even when we don't have enough, be the "weird christian neighbor" your neighborhood talks about, do stuff that is just ridiculous to the world.
    dan in the lion's den likes this.
  9. My parents do claim to be Christians.
  10. I don't live in america obviously. NZ.
  11. Much of these posts are too synical. If the American dream is just about getting ahead, than it is counterfeit. The true American dream is about building a cohesive society that works to help each member grow, maximizing the positive aspects of each of us. It was never about going it alone.

    I believe that putting Christian values of fair-play and concern for the weak can be a positive example that not only advances the society we live in, but can become a witness for the Lord as we show Christ's Love to others, and we improve our communities as we do.
  12. If you want the feel good version of it, then yes, by all means. Go to a priviledged school. Go to a priviledged college. Get on with a large corpration. Go to a feel good church like Joel Osteen's. Get indoctrinated with feel good, trendy theology. Then put your blinders on and work real hard til you retire.
    I've seen both sides. I've been poor. I've had "success". It's the idea of the american dream that is good. The reality of it is akin to a hollywood movie set. Don't look too deep and you'll be fine.
    Klub likes this.
  13. #13 Klub, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
    It is cynical, because the world is cynical. Like I said, it sounds great on paper, but so does communism. Once you put it into practice, human's sin nature takes over. The nature to better yourself, then potentially help others if it is convenient

    In my opinion, the american dream is the reason why America is the single hardest mission field in the world. It makes people comfortable, happy with who they are and makes them feel like a good person. When you need to ignore your feelings, we have ready entertainment to blot out those "negative" thoughts. Everybody can have their own opinion, so long as it doesn't offend anyone. Nobody is wrong, everything is just grey. George Orwell's 1984 describes the downfall of the American system, and he hits the head on the nail many times.
    dUmPsTeR and dan in the lion's den say Amen and like this.
  14. Privileged school. Missed that one.
    Actually, I worked nights to go to a city college, followed by an Air force hitch. Helped the chaplain's office in my spare time. It wasn't even an Air Force chaplain.

    Never got my degree, but I kept studying. learning skills for where I wanted to be a couple of years hence.

    My service was useful landing a job with a large corp. I can tell you they were not giving out anything.

    Did change firms a couple of times. More for interesting/challenging work than for $.

    I was a cub scout leader for a couple of years, trying to help my sons and those of my neighbor's learn some values.

    Lots of night school. More community & christian service.

    Feel good luke-warm Christianity? I have had the privilege to be part of congregations that prepare and challenge each member to work hard and put faith into practice and overcome the enemy's opposition.

    When the economy went down in 2009, my job went with it. No Hard feelings, the project was coming to a close anyway. If I were the project mgr, I would have chosen the position I was released from to eliminate; but it was really bad timing for me. Age 56 non degreed software engineer at a time when everything was being cut. My old company kept calling me to advise the person who took my responsibilities, and to ask recommendations for defining requirements for the new replacement system.

    Looked for work, unsuccessful in that environment.

    Started volunteering at the hospital & food bamk. (Continued looking for work).

    I got an offer the week I was diagnosed with Cancer. Chemo followed by surgery, the job couldn't wait.

    I now volunteer helping others that have had my kind of surgery.

    The American dream is not about getting ahead. It is about overcoming difficulties and supporting the community. It is about being able to work through the difficulties. It is not about getting ahead, but if you are diligent, you can gain a good reputation for yourself and your Lord. You can trust on His providamce.

    Sorry for the bad formatting, I am away from home and using a little tablet rather than my desk computer.
  15. Siloam, I think we are looking at two different american dreams.

    I agree, the idea of America was to be able to work through the difficulties, for the common man to overcome challenges and help his community.

    But the America I predominantly see is one of lust, greed and a blissful ignorance. One where a person overcomes difficulties, challenges, and may help, but only for his own name.

    I'm not saying if you are saved, and you overcome difficulties and give it the "good old American shot" you aren't on fire for the Lord, quite the opposite. I failed to communicate that prior.
  16. My idea of the American dream would be when I was growing up would be, owning a home, being happily married, having kids, and having a good paying job.
  17. I would agree that corporations have too much influence. And I would agree that many persons get caught up in getting over on someone else, but I don't think that applies to most people. There are many that are frustrated with just navigating current society, but that is more systemic that individually mean.

    Even to the extent that society is challenging, we should be working to advance it to a less challenging one.

    As far as condemning society, consider the Roman empire in our Lord's time. It would make our society seem quite benign BT comparison. How much time did Jesus spend railing about Roman injustice? How much did Paul? How much did Luke?

    Rather than dismiss society, we need to engage it so that we can affect its people for our Lord.

    And yes, trying to be successful, both spiritually, and materialy is part of living in our world. What we consider success is also an important consideration. If success is having the needs of today and preparing for the needs of tomorrow, understanding who provided for those needs, it is productive and edifying.

    We can be in the world without giving allegiance to the enemy.

    Does anyone take work and pray "Oh Lord please spare me from success"?
    Juk likes this.
  18. I hope that I do not convey to be condemning society, success or having a well paying job because that's not what I'm trying. Its simply an observation of how my culture, and man in general, works. And none of it is new, as it is said in Ecclesiastes 1:9
    "What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun."
    dUmPsTeR likes this.
  19. Greetings:
    It's an illusion.If someone tells me what I should be dreaming about because I'm American,I tell
    them I can't,I'm a mere "I can".
  20. This saying was really big especailly around a hundred years ago and many families migrated to the USA to start a new anbd better life and they did do just that.
    Angela333 likes this.

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