By Eric Lee Baker

The American dream
is one which is both unique, yet very ordinary at the same time. As a result of the rights and privileges we enjoy in this country, the dreams of Americans are often heavily influenced by these rights, rights which while promising in nature, do not guarantee a fulfillment of ones' goals.

Most Americans consider
the material gains of living in such a country as most beneficial. The acquiring of a house, a fancy car and luxurious furnishings for the home are usually top priorities in most everyone' 'life. As a result, the focus of education, selecting a career and molding one's individual personality are often tailored to fit what people think will best achieve these goals for them.
This often requires the sacrificing of individuality for the sake of material gain and prosperity becomes the most sought after element in the American dream. Since the 1940's, Americans have been afflicted with the "materialistic complex" and it has held great consequences for the nation as a whole.

Americans, I feel,
have failed to realize the extreme benefits of living in a country which guarantees and realizes personal liberty above all else.

We as a nation, have chosen
to channel our talents and energies into pursuing the economic aspect of the American dream. Consequently, people are finding more and more difficulty in achieving what they see as the path to a truly successful and rewarding life. When we stop and consider the privileges that we enjoy and compare them to other countries which profess to be practicing "democracies", we should realize just how well off we are.

We often fail, however,
to take full advantage of the opportunities which our freedom offers us. Because of our economic outlook on life, we do not realize the potential that can be gained by increasing our own individuality and forming our own opinion about issues which affect us as well as the world at large.

The American dream
can best be described as one which relies heavily on tradition in addition to varying morals and viewpoints to shape the goals of each generation. The basic motivation of such aspirations, however, still lies firmly entrenched in the universal goals of home ownership, job security and freedom in both political and social thought.

As each group of Americans struggles
to fulfill these goals and live out their own version of the American dream, new and varied approaches to achieving happiness and living out one's dreams will emerge. It is this trait which makes the American experience so unique and also what separates it from others.

Through the continual application
of individual methods and the formulation of individual goals, the American dream will remain a reality for all those who wish to pursue it because America is the synthesis of diversity. As Americans, we have a multitude of possibilities awaiting our exploration and it is up to us to make the choice between them. It is because of this that the American dream, while often seemingly elusive, will remain a reality to all those who pursue after it.

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