The new american dream: Avoid the cubical
According to Merriam-Webster: The American Dream is an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially material prosperity.
In The United States as children we hear about the term ‘The American Dream’ all too often, especially us who are 1st generation Americans. Traditionally speaking The American Dream is: you can come to this country, work hard and make something out of yourself. While the “make something out of yourself” part is usually measured by economic strength. Even more traditionally, this dream is materialized by obtaining a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence and a labrador…or a cute dog of your liking. Regardless, for almost a century this was the ideology in America. But recently people feel as if the American Dream, in the middle of the night when we were all in REM sleep, grew legs and walked out on us all. You hear people cry out, “The American Dream is over!”, “The American Dream is lost!”, “Where did The American Dream go?” I’ll tell you where it went, but I’ll save that for later. If The American Dream is lost, gone, over…what part of The American Dream are we referring to? The entire dream or a part? Maybe it’s the part that one day you’ll be able to show off all of your hard work and accomplishments by the home you invest in. And be proud of your home, and your family is proud too, that you now own a home. We can thank the 2008 housing bubble collapse for that one. I’ll never forget my grandfather around 2005 telling me how strange he thought it was that people who made middle class income were buying 2-3 homes, in the same year. Here you have a guy who was born in the 1940s, just after the great depression. Served over 20 years in the military. Has purchased, sold and rented multiple homes in his lifetime. And he couldn’t begin to understand how a 27 year old barber owned 2 multi-family homes, especially without a family! The rise of the bubble removed the pride and mystique of home ownership. The exclusivity and respect that working hard for years to obtain the home earned the homeowner. Followed by removing the people from their homes after the bubble burst, was just down right shameless. It was literally the cherry on top of a pile of sh*t that many felt The American Dream turned into, after it was exposed and commercialized.
But is The American Dream gone?
I refuse to believe so. The American Dream still exists, it’s still here, it’s just different, it changed. Change is beautiful, it’s the only thing in life which is constant. In America though times are tough, anything is still possible. Just look around you. In Chicago a 17 year old hip hop artist by the name of Chief Keef signed a $6,000,000 record deal with Interscope after receiving millions of views with his debut video on Youtube. A Harvard dropout named Mark Zuckerberg is worth Billions after starting a social networking site for college students. Alex Tew sold 1 million pixels for $1.00 each on a webpage he dubbed milliondollarhomepage.com. 35 year old Mario Lavandeira, better known as Perez Hilton started a blog posting tabloid photos with captions that poke fun at celebrities. His site today earns Mario anywhere between $200k – $400k a month. Marina Orlova hosts a youtube channel called “Hotforwords” in which she makes videos about topics such as the origins of English words and idioms. She’s reportedly cleared $1,000,000 in earnings from her videos. People are still making something out of nothing here in America, so that part of the The Dream is still here. With the quality of inexpensive clothes at an all time high. Inexpensive, high-quality electronics are now easily accessible. Inexpensive vehicles that look just as good and perform just as well as the high-end vehicles. And an unreliable housing market, the materialistic nature of the traditional American Dream just doesn’t seem as appealing anymore to many.
The New American Dream.
People in this country are still making something out of themselves. But the dream isn’t that one day we’ll be able to measure all of our achievements by a large purchase.The dream is that everyday we’ll be able to crawl out of bed excited about what we do to earn an income and where. The dream is to work in an environment that harnesses our ability to progress, inspire and create. In short the dream, our dream, The New American Dream is to avoid the cubical. A cubical is to an income earner as a jail cell is to a criminal. The New American Dream is to follow your own dreams, down your own path and to not be confined by someone else’s dream or their makeshift walls.