Interview with Howard about the American Dream

Howard was born in the decade of 1960’s. To be precise, he was born in 1962 in Dallas, Texas but moved to California in his early 20s.  He grew up in the decades of 1970’s and 80’s. During these decades, various significant events were taking place. These were the decades when the environmental protection agency was created, the 26th Amendment was ratified, Nixon become the first president ever to step down, the USA boycotted Summer Olympics in Moscow, the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, FOX broadcasting company was launched and the emergence of Hurricane Hugo on the East Coast among other many events.

Howard is a White American and was born in Dallas, Texas in a family of four children. He was the third born. His parents were farmers and took the initiative of teaching their children the art of farming. Howard’s two elder brothers gained an interest in farming and took more initiative. For him and his younger sister, they were never interested as they grew up. This is what prompted him to move to California at the age of 22 to search for new endeavors.  When it comes to religion, he is a Catholic Christian. He was introduced by his parents and has never ceased from then. Howard says that he considers himself an upper middle class. He owns a chain of restaurants, and that is where he has made most of his fortune. Education wise, he has a bachelor’s degree in B.A.

As Howard became of age, he viewed the American dream as an aspect that would enable him to move forward in life. He envisioned the prospect of being able to build a big house for his future family and provide them with all the basic needs and other relevant luxuries. This aspect would have made him fill content. He did not have the opportunity to enjoy a lot of comforts while growing up due to the limited resources at home. This was an aspect that he did not want his children to go through. He was well aware of the feeling that creeps in when you see your friends with things that you desire but your parents cannot afford them.

Howard thinks that he shared similar sentiments with his peers with regards to the American dream. They would meet while idle and talk about their fantasies and dreams. He says that he was surprised that all of them were determined on having families and accord them the best life possible. This is because most people of their age were self-centered at that time. They only thought of how successful they would become without picturing other people to be in their circles. Howard also thinks that most of his peers went ahead and achieved their dreams.

When I asked him whether his understanding of the American dream has changed, he asserted that it has remained the same way it was some years back. “Yes, a lot has changed, and people’s priorities seem to be shifting, but I remain true to what I have believed in for a long time.” Those were his words. He says that change in lifestyles and everything as they knew it while growing up has resulted in the current generation having different viewpoints about the American dream.

Howard feels that he has achieved the American dream. He lives in a big home with his family. He has been able to provide the best possible life for them. They have never lacked at any given point in their life. His children have acquired education in very good institutions. He is preparing them for a successful life ahead by way of guidance and mentorship. He is happy that they have not disappointed so far.

When I asked him whether people should reach for the “American Dream”, he seemed undecided. He said that it depends on how people define the American Dream. According to him, how the current generation views the American dream is quite different from how it was while he was growing up. He thinks that the American dream is dying since most people do not have values anymore. Nowadays people only care about things, possessions and money but not happiness. He believes that happiness is derived from caring about others, family and the community at large. Howard asserts that if people are going to uphold these self-centered ideologies, they should not reach for the American Dream. This is because it would only bring more miseries and not happiness.

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