Money And Success: The Myth Of Individual Opportunity Essay, Research Paper
Money and Success:
The Myth of Individual Opportunity
The American Dream is different for everyone, though it is most commonly associated with success, freedom, and happiness. The concept of the American Dream seems to have dwindled from where it was in the past few generations. It has gone from success, freedom, and happiness to having lots of money and the nicest possessions. In today뭩 society we all hope and strive for this dream, but how many actually achieve the American Dream? Is it a reasonable goal that Americans should strive for, or is it a myth that only leads to self-destruction? Having a lot of money, a good job, and expensive possessions are all characteristics of this American Dream. Even though, many Americans seek to achieve all of these material possessions, how many can say that they are truly happy, once they reach this goal?
There is no standardized description of being rich. Some people see money as the only way of measuring how prosperous one is, but is money the only way to achieve the American Dream? One can only have so much money. Even the richest of the rich aren뭪 satisfied with what they have, yet they strive to make more and more money in order to live up to their dream. No mater how rich or how much one owns there are always bigger and better things. In the story 밨agged Dick,?Horatio Alger writes about a young man뭩 progress from poor background that searches for wealth. In this story Dick has gone from rags to riches, immediately after his success he wants to move to a 뱊icer quarter of the city?(312). But will this move satisfy his wants? Even though Dick is moving to a better part of town, there will always be a place that뭩 even better than his.
Another characteristic of the American Dream is to have a high paying job with health benefits and stock options. In today뭩 high tech society we are seeing more and more people advancing to higher positions because of the never-ending advances in technology. Standards in the workforce will never be reached because there is always something new to be learned. There is always a competitor waiting to take your place, so one must always stay one step ahead in order to live up to today뭩 fast paced society. Based on my experiences of work, I try very hard to keep up with my job, attending training classes, subscribing to technical magazines, and studying for technical certifications to further advance my knowledge, even after all my training there is still much to be learned. This constant struggle of improving job status leaves one with little time to enjoy his or her success.
It has been said that Americans are no longer trying to keep up with the Joneses, but instead looking at celebrities, and envisioning themselves with the same expensive possessions. Americans today do in fact look at celebrities and long for their lavish lifestyles, but also still do try and keep up with the Joneses. Ever look at your neighbor뭩 new car and want one of your own? It is very common to see your neighbor pull in their driveway with a new Mercedes, then look at your car and think of going and getting a nice new car that is comparable to the Mercedes. We as Americans are never satisfied with what we have.
The American Dream is still alive, though it is not what it used to be. One can be successful, have freedom, and be happy. But are they fulfilling their version of the American Dream? Keeping up with the Joneses is still a part of our everyday lives. Some of us may take it to further extremes than others, but there will always be the desire to have something better than everyone else. Society today tells us that we should have the best of everything if we don뭪, we are of a lower class of people. We are sucked in by these beliefs because we as Americans do not want to be shown up, and want to be part of the higher class. Americans are always demanding more, while in poverty-stricken countries people are just thankful for what they do have. Maybe we as Americans should just be thankful for the opportunities that this great country has to offer and live our OWN dreams.