What is the American Dream….today?

 We’ve all heard the adage – aspire to “live the American dream” – but what it was is perhaps not what it is today.

Though, do we even know what it has become? Do the younger generations see the “Dream” in the same way our older generation does?

The dream that so many people of my age and older were taught was to grow up, get married, have a job and a house and a family and a dog. The white picket fence would be a true plus and in my area of the world (southeast), I was hoping to stay home with my kids, adore my husband, and have holidays with lots of decorations and selling baked goods at the elementary school…and then eventually be the house my children and their friends want to hang out at as the “cool house”….and once the children leave for their ideal college, begin my life as an empty nester ready to help around my community and be ready for grandchildren. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I have a job, a house, a family, and a dog. But uhhhh……nearly none of the rest came to fruition. We are a chaotic family, traveling all over the world, working, studying, and chasing….what? What is our goal? Where are we going? Where are you going? At my age, I can laugh. I mean, whatever I dreamed as a child was attempted but largely failed…and yet, I adjusted and I am happier for it.

But I spend a fair amount of time wondering – what does the next generation want? My kids don’t crave money or houses or even children of their own. All these things add responsibility and limit their abilities to experience life as they wish.

Even for Christmas and birthdays, we now give experiences more than things. We preach that growing older means one needs to accept more responsibility, more dependencies, grow upward in a company. But is any of this true? Is this the “dream” we all believe….now?

This is not one I’m going to answer immediately. Instead I’m going to start a series of highlighted stories. I’m calling it Thursday–Dreamday and I’m going to feature stories on my Facebook page of people fulfilling *their* American dream. I’m eager to see how their experiences weave together to make our nation whole, diverse, interesting, and inspiring. I’m interested to see if there is a new dream that we share, but don’t yet realize. Join us at the UNIFY USA Project and let’s see where this journey takes us….

Photo Credits: D Neyozhai, D Topkin, S Schneider, A Navarro

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