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The American Dream

Updated on July 17, 2011


When most people think about the American dream, they imagine a happily married couple with several kids and maybe a dog. They imagine living in a big house with a white picket fence. Mom stays home in an apron all day cooking and baking while Dad brings home the bacon. Of course, mom is in the PTA and regularly attends her children’s softball games and such. Then the children grow and attend the best colleges and repeat the cycle all over again.


Of course, there are different versions of the American dream for different people. While some aim for the perfect home and family, others dream of success, power, and/or fame. Most of their time is spent working towards being the biggest rock star, the highest paid CEO, or even the next big reality television show personality. Many people put everything they have into their work. They work 10,12, 15 hour days then go home and work some more.


People work overtime hours at work so they can buy the latest smart phone or the hottest car in the neighborhood. Women are spending countless hours and dollars in the salon looking for perfect hair and nails. Young women are taking their clothes off or performing sexual favors for money just to keep up with the trendiest shoes and handbags.


While everyone has their own version of the American dream, they all seem to have one thing in common. Money. We need money to buy the house with the picket fence and keep the wife at home. We need money to keep up with the latest trends and fashions. We need money to send our kids to the best colleges. 


Money means work. Work means stress. Stress means unhappiness.

A lot of people spend their whole lives trying to reach some ideal life or at least something close to it. Maybe, instead of trying so hard to move forward, we should be moving backwards to achieve satisfaction.

What if we just focused on enjoying our time here instead of focusing so much on the stuff we want? What if we went backwards in time and technology and just enjoyed a simpler life?

How is this for an American dream?


You live in small home, just big enough for the family to eat and sleep there. There are no fancy countertops or furniture, just what you need to get by. Because you live with only what you need, you only have to work 20 hours a week instead of 40, 50, or 60. People don’t judge you based on your clothing or material items. We change our priorities to make our main goal in life to enjoy it, not to acquire a bunch of stuff. Because you are working less, you spend your days actually playing with your kids, talking with your spouse, going to the beach, gardening your fruits and vegetables.


Would you give it all up for a less stressful, simpler life? Or would you still prefer the 60 hour work weeks that come with all the cool toys?


Let me know.




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    • Availiasvision profile image

      Jennifer Arnett 

      6 years ago from California

      Being self-sufficient is very wise is our unstable world. I'm starting small with some herbs and tomatoes and moving on from there. I would love to grow everything, but I'll have to work on my green thumb. I love the ABC News video. You don't need much I guess, the family only had a fifth of an acre. I've found that when you buy less, you can start working less. That's the goal! it's hard to separate one's identity from one's possesions. Life is so much better that way! Thanks for posting.

    • betherann profile image

      Beth Morey 

      8 years ago from Montana

      Very thought-provoking... :)


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