My American Dream

May 3, 2010
By katiejackson BRONZE, Houston, Texas
katiejackson BRONZE, Houston, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Many Americans believe that success means financial success. Cars and mansions, cell phones and laptops, xboxs and playstation 3s, these consume us and distract our society from seeing the need in our brothers' and sisters' eyes. The bible holds many truths: it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. This bible verse relates to consumerism and how easy it is to become enslaved to material things. For many of us, being submerged into consumerism is a blessing, me, a distraction. I believe in another kind of success - inspiring others to build character.

The Greatest Generation, our grandparents, were raised by survivors of the crash of 1929 and the Great Depression. These memories of their parents struggling to put food on the table resulted in their conservative nature. In return, this obviously influenced the raising of their children. The ultimate conservatives, our great grand parents, caused our grandparents to save most of their earnings only spending on essentials. This refined way of removing the excess from their everyday life was seen throughout our parent’s childhood. Therefore our parents grew tired of living on the basics, and worked hard to provide the best life style for us as millenials.

Growing up in the middle class of the thriving twenty-first century, many of us teenagers by no means grew up in an impoverished life-style. My fellow generation does not see extravagance in having designer clothes, the latest laptops and phones, or the newest cars. The current middle-class generation views these as commonalities; this submersion in consumerism highlights our personal wants, rather than the needs of our society. A society full of greed, jealousy, and selfishness- this is a direction our generation could fall into. Some Americans believe the generations to come will rapidly move away from simplistic life-styles, and focus solely on themselves, as individuals rather than as Americans. I have another belief for our future.

I dream for our generation to be aware of the struggling individuals lacking the daily essentials. I pray our generation redefines success from achieving a life of extravagance to succeeding in changing the lives of the less fortunate. Hopefully enough of us middle and upper class teenagers have spent a sufficient amount of time in a life-style full of opulence to realize money does not bring happiness; for those of us who have come to this realization it is our duty to encourage others to find a better focus for our time and energy and strength.

Providing for our future families sounds like providing another generation by supplying their material wants, yet my goal is for us as millenials to provide values in our actions such as determination to help others in need. I dream our generation will be the one to change our focus as Americans in a positive way. I dream, we as the current teenagers will set our eyes on the needs of others, just like Jefferson’s eyes were upon us when he created the Declaration of Independence. I dream we will rise against the commonalities of selfishness created by consumerism and greedy pride of individual success. I will live out my American Dream by working hard for others rather than achieving personal glory. I'm not going to give up all my time to get a top job, so that I may gain the material world. God does not give us gifts for us to exploit them for our own personal wealth and ignore our brothers and sisters. I realize as an American and as a child of God, I have a duty to provide for my brothers and sisters who were not born into an extravagant middle class lifestyle. I dream for our generation to shake the nation with great love, service, and humility. I dream we rise up and change the nation. In this way, as our parents have so successfully provided for us in material ways, we Millenials could enable our children to achieve not only financial success but also a shift in focus outward for the betterment improvement of our fellow man and therefore the world.

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