Shannon (peacetraveler22) wrote,

Is the American dream still alive?

When you sit in traffic for almost two hours each morning on the way to work, you notice a lot of different bumper stickers and personalized license plates on the cars of your fellow commuters. This morning, a car passed me with this sticker plastered on the bumper and another one that read "I SELL THE AMERICAN DREAM." I couldn't find a stock photo of a bumper sticker with this slogan, and I've never seen it before. I can't understand what the expression "I SELL THE AMERICAN DREAM" means?

What is the "American dream"? I don't even know, because life dreams vary depending on the personality and ambition of each individual. We can't say that the American dream is one specific thing, although the stereotypical formula is (1) work hard; (2); earn a decent living; (3) marriage + children; (4) home ownership = the "dream." Yesterday, I read a post in the LJ immigrant community, which focused on the proposition that a green card does not bring happiness. The post is here. When the diversity lottery opens each year, a lot of posts on this topic and immigration into America get published. The lottery opened on 1 October and will run until 3 November. With the exception of marrying an American, the diversity lottery is 100% the easiest pathway to U.S. citizenship if you're selected, though the chances are very, very slim. Good luck to those readers who will apply. However, it's necessary to remind everyone about the expression on the next popular bumper sticker:


Fruition of a dream - it is the result of hard work, no matter the country or dream. The problem, as many people noted in the comments in the pora-valit post, is that some immigrants who win the diversity lottery come to the USA with absolutely no ambition or motivation. If you're a lazy, unproductive loser in your native country, the chances are high that you will meet the same fate here in the USA. You can't just show up, and expect to have everything handed to you. Work as a cook, dishwasher, cab driver, begin to build a life, get an education, yes it's all possible...I've seen it over and over again with my immigrant friends who are now U.S. citizens. It requires adaption and integration into the new culture and community. Not simply moving to a neighborhood where only Soviet or Russian immigrants live, communicate only in Russian, etc.

I support the diversity lottery in its current form. It provides opportunities to those who are blue collar or hard-labor workers who otherwise would have no chance of legal entry into the U.S. At the same time, you open up the risk of allowing a bunch of lazy, slacker, unskilled workers into the country who will sit on welfare, and complain that the "American dream" is dead. So, it's all complicated, but I've seen this lottery work for many people who now have stable, though not luxurious, lives in the USA.

Is there a similar expression about "the Russian dream?" To define the dream of an entire nation is impossible, whether it's Russia or the USA. The human spirit, will and drive are complex, challenging, defeating, beautiful, frustrating and tragic. At various points in my life, I've felt all of these strong emotions. It's a solid indication that I'm human and still very much alive...

Good luck again to the lottery applicants! If anyone wins, be sure to write and tell me. :)

Tags: america, comparison, immigrants, stereotypes, usa, Америка, США
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