Death of the Dream | Teen Ink

Death of the Dream

December 2, 2009
By Mitch1991 BRONZE, Saint Louis, Missouri
Mitch1991 BRONZE, Saint Louis, Missouri
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

In today’s society, it seems that far too many people have given up on the American Dream. I began to notice this among many different people in recent years. This observation first came up when talking to different people about colleges, professions, and other things of that nature. I have heard from some of my friends about their plans for after college, and after they tell me it immediately hits me, “Really? That is really what you want to do?” It simply appears that a rather large abundance of people are settling for what I consider mediocrity, and they are okay with doing something that either doesn’t make them happy, or just isn’t what they ideally want to do.

In my case, I don’t see why all of these people are giving up on their dreams before they have even started. It also bothers me quite a bit that there is no drive for success. People will just take what they are given without even trying to push for anything more.

For me, it is just mad not to at least try for your dreams. So I will end up changing the course of all of this, and actually shoot for my goals. If I don’t make it, well that is o.k., but at least I won’t spend the rest of my life pondering “what if?” My dream is to move out to California and pursue a career in music. I am not one of those people who idealize about selling out Madison Square Garden, but I simply want to become a moderate success. If I could manage to release several albums on a record label somewhere, and enjoy enough success to prosper, I would be a happy man. After all, I don’t think that there would be any sense in dreaming about it if I am not going to try to accomplish it.

I understand that my dream is considered dreaming big, but people only live once. So I believe that everyone should make the most out of what their lives may be. With that being said, I do believe it is important to have a “fall-back plan” if what is originally intended doesn’t work out. To me it just seems that far too many Americans become fixated on a “fall-back plan” and consequently never reach out for what could be a prosperous future. Now that is one interpretation, but it could also mean that very few Americans have big dreams worth chasing. If that is the case, then society today is simply full of self pity, and that people today are not confident enough in themselves to try to do anything worthwhile. There are numerous examples of people who started working in a standard workplace, and later realized that they we’re not happy, and eventually went on to become huge successes. One example is the bass player and singer, Sting. For years he worked as a teacher in England, but he eventually moved to London, where he could pursue a music career. Before long his band, The Police, became an international sensation, selling millions of albums, and touring the world in support of their dream.

Perhaps cases such as Sting’s are more rare, but that is not the point. The point is that he had the sense to follow his dreams, instead of spending the rest of his life doing something that didn’t make him happy. As stated earlier, it is better to at least try for your dreams, rather than punishing yourself by pondering what could have happened. Truth be told, if someone is motivated enough to try to accomplish a certain goal, the chances are that they will succeed. It is that desire to succeed that drives ourselves in the right direction towards a prosperous life.

It is clearly evident that dreams are not something that should be put to rest so easily. Yet in today’s society, the American Dream is dead. Back in the day, the American Dream stated that all people can achieve a “better, richer, and happier life.” (Adams). Because so many people do not believe in this anymore, the American Dream has somewhat changed to a simpler version. Now the dream is focused more on family, marriage, and financial security. It is all rooted in a concept of buying less and saving more (Griffen). To me it seems that America’s ideals have gotten lost somewhere along the way.
The American Dream today is a much weaker and pathetic version of what once gave hope to thousands of citizens living in America. One may argue that we have redefined the dream because of the current economy, but why should we weaken our dream when even during the Great Depression, the American Dream was a shining symbol of hope? Why do so many Americans settle for mediocrity in their professions? Why do so many people accept unhappiness with the jobs that they are given? And finally, why is it such a common thing to give up on your dreams? I do not know how to answer any of those questions, but those questions are what we all should be thinking about, concerning our future, our happiness, and our dreams.

The author's comments:
For my College Prep. Composition class, we had to write about a societal issue. I didn't have much of an opinion about anything, and I don't follow politics or anything like that. But this idea of a dying American Dream popped into my head, and while doing research, it seemed that I wasn't the only who thought so.

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