What is the American dream? Or more specifically, what is your American dream? People migrate to this country chasing this concept and ideology that anyone can grasp like it is some tangible bubble that can be plucked from the sky. Living the American dream could be defined as working hard to become successful with enough money to purchase a modest home, getting married, raising children, and living happily. Is the dream still attainable? Is it what we have always thought it to be or has it changed?
Delightfully, most Americans report that the American dream is alive and well. It seems difficult to envision this claim as being accurate given the cultural climate in the United States presently. Each day seems to bring a fresh saga of the economy’s breakdown, how the country is divided politically, or the social struggle, especially since President Trump took office. Anxiety and fear grip Americans and many are not sure what the future will reveal. I, along with many others, have been assuming that honest, hard work is the key to social mobility and achieving success; however, that doesn’t seem to be the case, and those ideals are weakening. There is something else playing into the definition of the American dream, and many Americans believe that they are living it. I found a survey inquiring about the American dream and the results were surprising to me. Eighty-five percent of those surveyed revealed that being able to choose how they live was necessary to achieve the dream. Additionally, eighty-three percent also found a favorable family life essential. Interestingly, they did not select factors such as being wealthy or owning a home. Having the freedom to choose makes Americans feel as though they are living the American dream. Is the dream turning into a nightmare with the mandates requiring citizens to wear masks?
Clearly, the mask symbolizes for many the fact that some freedoms have been taken away. Even in situations of life and death, Americans have this need to be seen and recognized, and face coverings expose surrender and weakness. Those that are at the forefront of objecting to wear masks are also those arguing for our First Amendment rights to express who we are. America was founded on the very philosophies and beliefs about freedom. Walk into any business in our community and you can witness store owners and customers exercising their freedom to choose to wear a mask or choosing not to. I strongly support the concept that people themselves are best equipped to make their own health decisions, not me. Personally, I choose to disobey the government’s mask mandates for the reason that it denies me the right to make my own decisions based on the conditions and desires unique to my situation. Compelling evidence suggests that at my age and my lack of pre-existing conditions, the risk of my contracting and dying of Covid-19 complications is fairly low. If I did in fact contract Covid-19, my survival rate is about 99.9 percent. I am willing to take my chances and risks knowing that there are those who would cheer my demise if I am wrong. Nevertheless, I choose to utilize that position to remind people that they have the absolute right to weigh the facts for themselves and then make a decision that is appropriate to their own unique circumstances. Let the American dream live on as my fellow Americans and I agree that freedom and choice is the dream.