The American Dream

By: Carolyn Hileman

Forged in nothing more than dirt and stone these men and women of our past made their future, with nothing more than a good mule a plow and a lot of grit, they caved a country out of barren land. They mixed the mud and sawed the logs, built their fortresses out of what the good Lord gave them and they felt blessed to be living the American dream. Children have long heard the stories from our parents and grand parents which we mostly passed off as a joke about how they trudged uphill both ways to school, barefoot in the snow, had we listened though we might have heard the story of their American dream.

We might have learned about the kids who had to get up and feed the animals, bring in the firewood and start the fire all before breakfast. We might have understood hardship, when they told us about only having a biscuit to carry in their lunch when they went to school, and sometimes if they were lucky they would get syrup to go on it. We might have also learned why they felt the need to fight for our country during WWII, why young men would lie about their age so they could go fight and the women gave up their pantyhose so that they could have parachutes. We would have learned the importance of a country working together and supporting one another, and we would be better for knowing it.

One has to wonder what it is that makes America so special, why is it that only the American citizens are allowed the American dream? America is a country of fighters, they may not have gone to war, but they were fighters just the same. From the signers of the Declaration of independence to the farmer in the field each one had a dream and each set out with what ever they had to see it come true, they did not wait for the government to make their life perfect they did it their selves. They were a proud people, an independent people who did not know the meaning of or have the opportunity to give up and we are the better for it.

The words the American dream has been bandied around so much now it sounds like nothing more than a cliché, anyone who comes to our country legally or illegally it would seem according to our government now is entitled to that dream and they do not even need to speak our language or adhere to our culture. Fortitude and independence has given way to dependency and weakness, morals and values are ridiculed and the American dream is now the immigrant dream. One would think in order to have the American dream you would first need to be American and I don’t mean in name only either.

You must be willing to lay it all on the line, bring every ounce of your body and soul and carve your place among the great Americans of the past. I don’t mean those famous Americans either, I mean those who bet their lives on a farm or ranch and have resisted the temptation to do it the easy way, to cheat and somehow be a little better off than the American standing beside them, the ones who opened the little Mom and Pop stores and restaurants with nothing else in mind but providing for their families, those who did without so they could pay their mortgage, and buy the seed. Those who spent hours bent over a plow or sewing and taking in other people’s laundry to make ends meet. That is a true American that is what you must be in order to live the American dream.

For if it becomes nothing more than a wish to live in luxury, then it will have no value left and it is just as well that any one can have it. It will no longer be our dream it will be a selfish desire that will cause a person to cheat and follow that desire to take the easy way out. America is about a lot more than that, always has been and always will be, it is about a never die spirit, a yearning for truth and justice, a life of work and fulfillment. It is about being grateful to find you have an extra twenty dollars at the end of the week and knowing who to thank for it. It is about watching our kids grow up and wanting to give them everything but knowing it is better to make them work for it. It is about carrying on a legacy handed down from each generation, a legacy of peace through strength, love of God, love of country and love of family. It is about following in the footsteps of our forefathers and protecting the dream that they gave us, the American dream.

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About The Author Carolyn Hileman:
The Voice

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