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by Joseph Straub

The American Dream has meant a great deal over the past years. It has been a dream made by people who, at one time or another, lived outside of America. It says that America is a wonderful place where anyone can go to be free. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of thought all really meant something to those people. Those people that had to have those freedoms came to America because it was the only place that really thrived on and supported freedom. One example of people who came to America is the pilgrims. The pilgrims came to America to avoid religious prosecution and believe in what they wanted to. Even today many of the people who live in other nations would give anything to come to America just to be free.

But many of the 'Americans' who have lived in the USA their whole life have lost sight of the American Dream. Who is at fault here is not really the point nor is it at all important, so don't turn around and place the blame on someone else.

Many US citizens have fallen into the 'rut' of a follower's life and the only thing they chose to do about it is nothing. This is the problem today. Too many so called Americans rely on things being given to them; they expect life to be easy and carefree. They expect life to be easy and carefree, and therefore, they choose to be a follower and do nothing for themselves. They believe that if something is not easy or simple, then it just can't be done. This is seen a lot in public schools across America. Students will often say, "How does [the teacher] expect us to do this! [The teacher] never gave us that equation!" This quote from a PSHS student illustrates how much students depend on the answers being given to them. Some of them just don't want to think, while others don't know how.

They also believe that if life does not roll the way they'd like it to then they are somehow different. Therefore, because they don't have the easy life they deserve special attention and must have someone to help them live this egregious life of theirs. The people being explained here are the ones who were born into a difficult life and simply don't want to make their lives better. They don't want to make their lives better because they are afraid of work. But this person is not a noble American, and many of you who say, "That's not me," and "I'm not like that," are definitely like that. You say this because you don't want to analyze your life and find something that isn't just fine and dandy. Well, I have news for you simple minded selfish fools who think you can call yourselves Americans.

This country was built by thinkers and doers, not by watchers and waiters, as a haven for those who are thinkers and doers. So if you are not one of these people then you should not be calling yourself a true American, and if you are not a thinker or a doer, then you should just get out of the way. You say this is harsh, but what good is it to sit in a free country and not be free? So, go sit in a corner while you reevaluate your life, and watch the real Americans shape their lives with the only tool needed, freedom, the freedom that can only be used by someone who really wants to use it. And if you do not want to, then perhaps you should switch places with someone living in another country who can not have this freedom. These are the ones who truly understand what the American Dream is all about.

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American Dream, 11 August 1997