idi_amin asked this question on 5/2/2000:
I would like an individuals perspective of The "American Dream" that can express the importance of religious freedom and how America helps facilitate these freedoms. Also what uniqueness that the United States presents to fullfill the American Dream and why is United States a better place to realize and fullfill the "American Dream" and what exactly do you believe the American Dream to be. I'm doing a paper for my Enlish class and I would like an inteligent perspective, and thats why I'm asking you. If you have any personal stories that I could use that propose your realization of your American Dream because of some uniqueness that the United States had to offer I would like to read about it. Thanks.
Willow4 gave this response on 5/2/2000:
wow. There are a lot of questions here. I will answer them as thoroughly as I possibly can, though I don't think they will be in the order that you asked them. Here goes nothing...
You asked: "what exactly do you believe the American dream to be?"
I believe the American dream to be many things. The typical (and almost comical) answer for this would be "a cute house, white picket fence, 2.3 kids, and a golden retriever". However, looking deeper into the American dream, I have found there to be a quest for success, equality, and a general freedom among the people (this freedom being in one's religion, race, and sexuality). Success could mean many things, such as success in the family, on one's own property, in politics, or in a business of some kind. As Americans, we strive for the freedom to choose which of these (if not all) we want to succeed in. Equality, being in race, religion, culture, sexuality and lifestyle. And the freedom, being in the same areas as Equality. We, on a whole, want the Freedom to choose which lifestyle we want to live, and the Equality in society to "make it" in our lifestyle and not be beaten down by conservatives.
You asked: "what uniqueness does the U.S. present to fulfill the American Dream and why is the US a better place to realize the american dream?"
The United States presents a constitution; a decleration of equality and freedom among the people. We (as the people of whom the consitution was written for), have the right, according to this document to be free. We have the right to practice what religion we choose. We have the right to choose our sexuality, and we have the right to succeed as a minority, and we have the right to do these things and NOT be persecuted for them. America helps to facilitate these freedoms by protecting us and giving us rights as AMERICANS. I have seen no other country protect their own in this way. The United States is the only country in which a ghetto born minority whom marries a person of the same sex, but diffent race, and belongs to a minorical religion has the chance to succeed and run for president if they so choose! If that does not make this country amazingly unique, there is nothing that can.
You asked "Is there any story that you could use that would propose your realization of the American Dream because of some uniqueness that the US had to offer?"
*nods* We all have them. Mine was at a Christian church in southern California. I was listening to my friends tell me of their religion, and knowing that I am Wiccan, the pasture of the church (whom was sitting with our group discussing theology with us), asked me to explain it to them, as they had been preaching their religion to me. I was uncomfertable at first, being in a Christian church, where I was obviously a minority (A woman AND a Wiccan, teaching the male priest about Wicca). I knew that in another country I would have been beaten emotionally and possibly physically if they had merely KNOWN I was Wiccan. And yet, here, they were open enough to listen to my views. I began to teach them, and when I was finished talking, I looked nervously at the pasture and asked him what he thought of the whole thing. He said, without missing a beat, "This is America we live in. I may not believe the same thing that you believe, but I will fight like hell for your right to believe it." I realized then that America IS different. We CAN achieve success here, even among the majority of another religion. Even among a majority of another way of thinking. Because even though we may not believe what they believe, America will FIGHT LIKE HELL for their right to believe how they will. Thus is America and thus are Americans.
I hope that I was able to be of some help. Willow
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