The American dream has caused a variety of arguments from different sectors that are of different backgrounds. Most of these arguments have been based on the different opinions that people hold regarding the American dream. People have been brought up in different backgrounds, and as a result, they have had different experiences. This aspect has shaped different viewpoints that they have regarding the American dream (Cullen 56). The American dream has also existed for a long period. Different events were being experienced in these periods. This is to mean that people view the American dream based on the current status that they are facing. People that existed during the periods when America was gaining independence had a very different notion of the American dream compared to how we see it today. Different countries in the world have various dreams that act as the driving force. Some of these dreams are closely related to the American dream.
In Saudi Arabia, most people have drams that are materialistic in nature. Everyone wants to get the dream job that would allow him/her to have the ability to afford all the good things in life. Everyone desires to have that big car, a big house, living in a good neighborhood, shopping in exotic places among other things. That is why people invest in aspects that are likely to help them actualize this status. People seem to have forgotten the concept of living a life full of happiness. Aspects that regard equality are not being advocated in the best way possible. Everyone is interested with the benefits they are likely to accrue as they carry on with their lives. Based on this, it is safe to say that in Saudi Arabia, most people have dreams that resonate to the New American dream and the white-picket fence dream than the founding fathers’ dream.
Body Part 1
Founding Fathers’ Dream
The dream was based on people trying to pursue happiness in most things that they indulged in their life. This dream was coined in a period when America was gaining its independence from the British colony. It was a time when freedom was deemed to be very valuable and that is why the American dream revolved around it (Johnson 32). Through freedom and other aspects of liberty, people were expected to live happily. Everyone in the society was expected to ensure that happiness was a major component among them. Treating everyone with equality was a step towards this actualization. Being happy was regarded as a necessary prospect of developing a successful society.
White-picket fence dream
The dream revolves around the society aspiring to have the good things in life. This includes having the ability to build good houses where their families will live. It also incorporates the idea of owning cars and other material possession. White-picket fence dream is more material in nature. It only considers the wellbeing of the people coming as a result of owning as many things as possible. This aspect is evident from the interview conducted on Laura. As a child, Laura had the same idea of the American dream. She is 21 years, and was born in 1992. During these decades, it is when Clinton was elected in office, and the 9/11 also happened during her childhood days. Laura was born in a family where people were well educated. Her parents had PHDs, and this was a challenge for Laura since she felt that she had to live up to that standard. Based on what she had seen in her family, she was driven to believe that she had the responsibility of actualizing a similar status. Laura desired education since she believed it would help her land a good job with high income. The high income would be a favorable step towards acquiring a good house. They would live here with her family and life would be good. She considered this to be a stable life, and it is the only thing that she could dream of. However, Laura admits that actualizing this dream will not be easy. It is quite expensive and requires someone to work extra hard to fulfill it. This is where the idea of acquiring a good job comes in. When people have good jobs, they are guaranteed of favorable earnings that will ensure they work towards achieving this dream. However, Laura does not remain focused on this dream. At some point, she discards it to embrace the New American dream.
The new American dream
The new American dream presents people with a different point of focus. People tend to seek fulfillment of basic needs like equality, education, healthcare and other personal goals (Amadeo). There is also a major desire for the attainment of liberty. These aspects are prevalent in Laura’s interview. As she was growing up, Laura had a different view of the American dream. She now anticipated leading the New American dream. As a result, she joined college in pursuit of education. Education is currently regarded among the basic human needs. Her dreams were now driven towards living a free life. A life where she could travel the world as and when it pleased her. This meant having more time with friends and developing new networks in the process. At this point, she was defining the American dream on her terms, and not from what she had seen her family practice. According to Laura, she has achieved this dream as planned. She has traveled to many places and derived the satisfaction that she desired. Now, she has changed her perspective about the American dream again. She thinks of reverting to the initial white picket fence dream that would ensure she has stability in her life.
Body Part 2
Just like Americans, the people living in Saudi Arabia have various dreams about their lives. These dreams act as a stepping stone upon which they base their lives. The dreams are the catalyst for the effort that they make towards having a better life. These dreams are not defined exactly like the American dream, but they have various similar proponents.
Many people in Saudi Arabia share in a dream that is similar to the white-picket fence dream. This is because they aspire to own good cars, have great homes and provide their families with most of their requirements. This is the materialistic aspect associated with the white-picket fence dream. Everyone wants to get that dream job. A job that will ensure their general income is as high as possible. With a high income, the people will be able to afford most things in life. This is the reason why education is taken with high regard in Saudi Arabia. It is believed that well-educated individuals are the only ones with the probability of attaining good jobs that will ensure high income is obtained. To many, education is deemed as the key to success with regards to attaining their dreams.
The aspect of striving to acquire education could also be regarded in the respect of the New American dream. This is because it is viewed as a basic need. Other aspects involved with the New American dream like healthcare are also given priority by people. There is an understanding that when one’s health is in jeopardy, everything else might come to a standstill. This is why people are usually concerned with the health care sector in the country. Previously it was lacking in some aspects. Almost all the operations were being conducted by the government and little room was being provided for the private sector. However, this is changing with time since the private sector is being accorded more responsibilities. People’s health statuses are improving as a result. People of Saudi Arabia are also concerned about their liberties and various aspects of equality. This has not been very forthcoming based on the fact that the country is an absolute monarchy. Most people dream of the situation being different in future so that they can have an opportunity to express themselves. People of Saudi Arabia also hold families with high regard. Everyone wants to spend more time with their families. This among the elements carried a long by the New American dream.
Based on the above information, it is quite evident that Saudi Arabians share in the white-picket-fence dream and the New American dream. There is less emphasis given to the Founding Fathers’ dream. People tend to focus on pursuing material things as opposed to happiness. There is the notion that the material things involved will bring along happiness. This is never the case since some wealth that people acquire only results to misery based on how it was acquired or the way it is being used.
People in Saudi Arabia have dreams of a better life just like the Americans. The people here might not define the American dream in the exact way that it is defined in America, but there are various similarities. The people of Saudi Arabia normally strive to have a good life in respect of having good homes and driving good cars. There is also a general desire to provide the family members with a good life. This is quite reminiscent of the white-picket fence dream. The desire for education and better healthcare is an indication of how Saudi Arabian people strive to actualize various basic needs. These are things that are deemed necessary for the survival of the people. The New American Dream has placed some emphasis on this aspect. It is also evident that pursing happiness is not highly appraised. People have become more focused on materialistic gains and have forgotten the concept of being happy. They assume that the wealth gained would help them become happy. This is going against the Founding Fathers’ dream; something that is also evident in America.
Basically, the American dream is not something static. It keeps changing from time to time. People try to define the American dream based on how they understand it. Others try to define it based on the avenues that they deem feasible for the dream to be attained. Generations that people find themselves in also shape their definitions. This aspect is not likely to change. The world is changing in various ways, and hence, the American Dream will continue to change in this respect. This dream is not unique to Americans. Other people in different countries have their own dreams. These are dreams of how they would want their lives to be in future. All the dreams are centered towards making them better than they are at present. The dreams might not have the same name as the American dream but tend to share similar ideologies in one way or another.
Amadeo, Kimberly. “What Is the American Dream Today?” About.com News & Issues. 26 Nov. 2015. Web.
Cullen, Jim. The American Dream: A Short History of an Idea That Shaped a Nation. Oxford UP, 2007. Print.
Goff, Keli. “The American Dream Is Dead, and Good Riddance.” The Daily Beast. Newsweek/Daily Beast, 7 July 2014. Web.
Johnson, Heather Beth. The American Dream and the Power of Wealth Choosing Schools and Inheriting Inequality in the Land of Opportunity. New York: Routledge, 2015. Print.
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