American Creed

The American Dream

By Isabel E. from Columbus High School in Montana

American Creed

When it comes to the American Dream, people tend to have different ideas on the meaning of it and what it really stands for to them. Some people say they don’t believe in the American Dream and others think that it’s an achievable goal. The problem for most people that stands in the way of them reaching their goal is the gaps between the dream and the reality. The gaps include poverty, racism, xenophobia, ethnicity, and self-esteem. There is more to those gaps that tend to put people’s dreams on pause.

The American Dream differs to some people, such as Joe Maddon, the Chicago Cubs baseball manager, and Tegan Griffith, an Iraq War Veteran. Both of these individuals appeared in the PBS film American Creed. It starts with remembering where you came from and being proud of that. Maddon states, “Nothing will work out without building relationships with each other. Once you build a good relationship with someone you can trust them, but without it nothing can ever happen or stem from it.” Often we feel so different from one another when all our differences are small and minor to each other, and they should be making us feel more American. This would stand as one of the gaps because our differences and inability to trust one another are providing and block between reaching our American Dream. Griffith says, “showing freedom, service to others, and owing it to your nation and family” are some of her shared values. Her way of showing her patriotism is one of her ways of reaching her version of the American dream. These are just some of the ways people reach their dream, but there’s still many people who don’t believe in it.

Other people think the American Dream is achievable because of certain things that stand in their way such as not having enough money, growing up in sheltered community, and much more. Immigration is one of the main things that divide us from feeling as American as others. Most people have different views on what their ideal dream would be for them. Many people think that where they come from will automatically make it harder to for them to make it anywhere in life because of their background and their beliefs. I think in order to make it anywhere, you have to take your culture and ideas and be proud of them. Everyone should have the chance to experience and live a good life in our country no matter where they came from. People believe growing up with a low income makes it harder on them for the future, but I think you can come from a poor family and still make yourself have a different income. Having little money does not mean you can’t go up from there. I think it’s mainly what you make of it, if you have a certain American dream, then you should do everything in your power to reach that goal.

In order to reach the American dream, we need to acknowledge where we came from and move on from the gaps between dreams and reality as a society. We should take everything from our past experiences and use it to push us toward our own American dream.

Columbus High School

American Creed - Continuing the Conversation

This group consists of student responses to the American Creed documentary from PBS and Citizen Film.

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Writing Our Future: American Creed is part of the National Writing Project’s family of youth publishing projects, all gathered under the Writing Our Future initiative.

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