The American Dream – What Are We Teaching Our Children?!?

In a recent conversation with my 17-year old son (Evan), he was mentioning that, in one of his classes, a survey was taken asking the students the following questions:

  1. Can most anyone be successful in America?
  2. Are the majority of the unemployed not working by choice?

He was surprised to observe that he was among the very few who answered YES to both questions. I’m so proud of my kids and the way they think 🙂

Let’s explore each question:

Can “Most” Anyone Be Successful in America?

First, we must define what success is. It certainly is not the same for everyone. I’d suggest that the definition of the American Dream (as shared in Wikipedia) pretty much sums it up.

The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility achieved through hard work. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.

The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the United States Declaration of Independence which proclaims that “all men are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights” including “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The American Dream is, in my opinion, alive and well: for those willing to go for it!

For anyone doubting this…If someone were to tell their story about why they aren’t successful it is absolutely certain that we can identify a person (or numerous people) with the same story (or worse), who ARE successful (even wildly so).

As such, it would seem that success is a choice: to do what is absolutely necessary to become successful, or not. The good news is that I’m not leaving anyone hanging or simply “wishing them luck.” That is, the purpose of this blog is to share strategies to becoming successful! One simply has to take the necessary action – EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Now, for the 2nd question…

Are The “Majority” Of The Unemployed Not Working By Choice?

There are “some” unemployed who are trying diligently to land a job and having a tough go of it. My heart goes out to these people: those diligently trying – EVERY DAY. And, it is my hope that this blog offers some helpful strategies!

That said, there is no shortage of “jobs.”

After a quick drive through my hometown any casual observer will see a number of “Help Wanted” signs for full and part-time work. In reviewing the local newspaper one can find the same. And, we haven’t even gone online yet…

As such, if an able-bodied person doesn’t have a job (and hasn’t for a long period of time) I would agree with those who answered this question, in the affirmative (i.e., many of the unemployed are “choosing” not to work).

Given that we ALL must start somewhere (and, that would be at the bottom), it is critically important to reinforce to our children that:

  1. ANYONE can succeed / live the American Dream
  2. They MUST get a job and not rely on others (including the welfare system) – NO EXCUSES!

In summary, if we want “success” we must define what that means to us (specifically) and GET TO WORK.

DISCLAIMER: It is realized that a “very small” segment of our society cannot work due to moderate-to-severe mental and/or physical challenges. These are the people we MUST take care of. And, I’m happy to do my part! For the rest of us, able-bodied humans, the following quote applies:

If you don’t work, you don’t eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:10

2 thoughts on “The American Dream – What Are We Teaching Our Children?!?

  1. Craig says:

    Outstanding post and good for Evan. I have forwarded to Ross, my college freshman and asked for his answers. I suspect he will respond the same as Evan.

  2. […] In fact, I published an article several months ago covering the topic of : What are we teaching our children? […]

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