What is the American Dream?

    Many view the “American Dream” as a dead mantra from the past, there is more to be said about it than that. Though the stereotypes of it are well known, there are forgotten aspects that have been missed in recent years. To attain the American Dream is not simply to become financially independent, Own a home, and be married with two children, a dog, and a Chevy Belair in the driveway. Then again, it isn’t the total opposite either when people say “my American Dream is…”. There are specific parameters that apply. The American Dream is like a hamburger: you can choose what goes in it, but it’s still a hamburger. 

    In a world governed by pluralism it is hard to get people to accept a single truth. However, there is only one, otherwise it wouldn’t be. Therefor, we believe that the real American Dream is not simply “yours” or “mine” but a concrete set of specific criteria. That isn’t to say that preferences do not vary slightly from one person to the next, but rather that they fall within specific perimeters. These are broken into the inalienable rights as spoken of in the Declaration of Independence: 

Life: 

    The right to life is for all human persons. It overcomes all forms of discrimination by those who would claim to be a superior race. It affords all people with the ability to try hard and make something of themselves despite their national origin, ethnicity, physical or mental limitations. As the quote goes, “The American Dream is color blind”. Nothing should effect your right to life unless you choose to do so by your actions. In two ways you can do this: 1) To do a great and noble thing in defense of your country or 2) by committing a terrible crime that requires punishment by legal authorities.  

Liberty:

    Liberty is the right to do as you see fit without infringement by a government or other power. To have liberty is to be free to do as you will. However, this is not to say that you can do as you “like” or “feel” in all situations. In matters of ethics and morals, you only have liberty to do as you should, otherwise you become enslaved to a cruel master, your own passions. With the great power of liberty, comes the responsibility of self control. Therefore, a person who is actualizing their liberty is one with a certain levelheaded disposition, always keeping in mind the need to govern themselves for their own good & the good of others. The existence of law supplements the shortcomings of persons who do not understand this point. 

The Pursuit of Happiness: 

    This right means that you are free to live the kind of life you want, where you want. In the forest, the city, the suburb, wherever you choose. Remember, true happiness is lasting and more than immediately gratifying. It is up to you to determine what actions will bring this lasting happiness to your life. Your happiness is no one else's responsibility.  So think logically, long term, and make it count. 

    Here at Cummins Architecture we apply a few further standards. The highest of these being that the actions of the current generation should be in the best interest of, not only themselves, but the generations to come as well. It is on the foundation of the past that we build the monuments of the future. What than will we do with the time given us? In the spirit of the American explorers Lewis and Clark, let us venture onward, ever seeking the elusive spirit that calls from the wild places of this great nation. Adventure is waiting, on the corner of the next block, on the top of that hill, on the river bank opposite. 

    It is this great spirit of mutual understanding and responsibility that collects the sentiments above into one cohesive thing: The American Dream. The understanding that all people have these rights and abilities. To respect these rights in ourselves and in others is our greatest call as Americans today. 


The American Dream is not dead, but rather, alive and well.