High on the list of things about America that really irks Europeans is any talk of "The American Dream." This statement, or ideal, or goal, or whatever it is, just sounds like we must think it is something real special I imagine, to non-English speakers. They must tell themselves, "Well it has 'America' and 'Dream' right in there in that line. So the Americans must be trying to throw something in our faces! Let's show them why they are full of crap! American dream my ass!"
I'm pretty sure that when Europeans hear about the American dream they imagine that we think it means everyone is rich, drives a hummer, is ultra patriotic, talks about freedom all day long, or that we think we are better than any non-American, or? What do they think it is? The only thing I know is they don't like it....
Well, here's a news flash for all of you who think that the American dream is some kind of heaven. Guys, "The American Dream" is really almost a tongue-in-cheek expression - but then really it's not. The American dream is very simple, very basic, and very, very modest.
What it means is this: You, as a normal schlub, can accomplish a simple thing in America with hard work. You can own a house, a car, - have a life - and a place to raise your family and send the kids to school. You can watch TV, you can have a hobby, and then croak - unmolested. That's it!
How does that sound Europe? Is it really worth getting upset about? We are not bragging. This is no boast. It is very simple - yet very powerful, why? Because there are many countries where these simple rights and pleasures are not allowed or are not possible. I believe the American dream was invented for people from places in the world where the rich, or the army, or the local landowner, or whomever, can shoot you in the street as easily as look at you - and with no consequences. Or from places where you can work 14 hours a day and still not be able to provide for your family - nor have a place to sleep.
When you put it in that context, going to a simple job then coming home to your family to have dinner and watch TV, sounds pretty damn good doesn't it? Maybe that is heaven.