Saturday, September 16, 2006

American Dream (reflection)

The American Dream. I am a believer that we can accomplish the majority of things that we wish and dream for. Hard work and dedication are the foundations of being successful, though knowing people in influential positions and keeping them in your network can expedite the process.

I grew up in a middle-class family in Denver, CO and thought that my life was pretty normal compared to my friends until I moved to Aspen, CO. This was eye-opening because in Aspen, we were not middle-class. We looked downright poor compared to the filthy rich children that I went to school with - kids that lived in mansions, were chauffered to school, and had every imaginable toy that anyone could ever want.

My parents have always told me that I can be whatever I want to be, a notion that I definitely believe. I know that some people say that the American Dream isnt available to everyone, that some folks cannot succeed no matter how hard they try because the Governement, society, whatever is against them. To them, I call bullshit. Immigrants arriving in America in the early 1900s had literally nothing to their name and some of them became extremely wealthy because of their dedication and hardwork. Andrew Carnegie was an impoverished immigrant from Scotland who came to America, after selling all of his belongings and even borrowing money from friends, and struck it rich in the steel business. Mind you, this was at a time when Americans were not friendly towards immigrants(well, i guess this is still the same), especially those from Scotland.

Luckily, my parents didnt have any "downclass" fears, as my mother had come from a poor Mexican family of 12 and knows how bad it is to prejudge someone because of their clothing or neighborhood.


Blogger toddo said...

I wonder if the issue is whether we consider social obstacles to success as impacting individuals, or groups in general. Any ONE can of course hit the jackpot in America, and individuals often do overcome major obstacles--but is it fair to say there are no systematic obstacles that statistically stop or hinder larger numbers of people? That is, in thinking of systematic social inequities we are thinking NOT about individuals, some of who achieve do heroic success, but classes or groups...the impact on which can be shown statistically....

3:05 PM  
Blogger Mariska said...

I understand your point how your position in the class system is sort of relative. When I lived in Harlingen Texas I felt like I had the same or more than most. We moved to a nice part of San Antonio where there was lots of kids with lots of money. I felt different.

12:04 PM  
Blogger kevin said...

My parents always told me that hard work pays off too. I know how you feel when you moved. When I moved into my new neighborhood there were a lot of kids who had way more than I did.

3:07 PM  
Blogger rachel said...

seriously, the opportunities are way different now than in the early 1900s. We have made some progress insofar as we dont publicly accept outright acts of discrimination, but they still exist behind closed doors. Also, with the advent of what I would argue is corporate control in america, rich and poor take on new heights respectively. I understand the nostalgic tendency to think of the immigrants at the turn of the century, but that is not the world we live in today--good, bad, or otherwise.

4:26 PM  
Blogger pagamble said...

EXACTLY!!!! I think most of us here have alot of the same background. I grew on an island in a house we built with acres of land. I moved to Seattle and looked like a "dodger". The Irish had it pretty bad at first too, now we've had an Irish president.

11:16 AM  

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