Sixty-three per cent of recent college graduates don’t believe in the American Dream.
I am stunned. The questions then become: What do they believe the American Dream was/is? Do they have no great dreams or visions? What do they see as their future and the future for generations to come? Haaave they lost the ability?
My American Dream is as alive today as it was when I graduated from college in 1942. It’s as alive as it was when I was a little girl hoeing in my potato field in the Iowa sun when I was in high school; my grandfather never gave me money but always the opportunity to earn a little money. It’s as alive as when I joined the U.S Navy in 1943. And so it was when I got my first, second, third and every teaching job. Certainly it was alive when I got married and most of all when my children were born. And it was renewed greatly when my grandchildren were born. It was alive when I had the privilege of getting my doctorate. It is as alive today as it was when I took my walk to my first little white country school. It was alive in the faces of those I have taught. It was more alive when I came home from every foreign country I have had the privilege to visit.
It’s alive when I take my gratitude walk and sit at the end of my driveway and give thanks for all my blessings. But it isn’t just the beauty of the place where I live or the long and wonderful life I have been given. My American Dream isn’t the home, the car, the college education, the incredible Thanksgiving feast we just enjoyed, or the thought of the coming Christmas tree and all the presents.
It is simply my FREEDOMS, those two great freedoms that are my birthright and the birthright of every person born in this country and those who choose to make it their land. It is the freedom given to me at my creation to become all that I was created to be. It is the freedom guaranteed me under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that allows me the liberty to have, and do and be all that I choose. It is those freedoms that I work to preserve for my children and grandchildren. If we do not have freedom, we cannot help others to achieve freedom.
To lose that American Dream that is the dream our founders secured for us in our history can only happen if we forget who we are. We can only lose the American Dream of freedom if we lose sight of what secures this liberty for ourselves and those who follow.
If the majority of college graduates don’t know what the jAmerican Dream is or have lost it, we have a big problem to solve. If colleges are teaching our young a distorted view of our history, a view of our republic as a place of greed or a country devoid of “social justice,” or when they applaud and teach forms of government that have clearly failed, maybe those colleges are not worthy of our young. When these great universities have forgotten the founding principles that have made them great, perhaps they don’t deserve our bright young people.
When these highly respected places of learning turn our young into voices who believe the American Dream no longer exists or is dead, it means to me that they have succeeded in brainwashing them into believing that independence, self-reliance, government only by the consent of the governed, guarantees of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are all fictions of an older generation’s imagination. It’s time, they must be teaching, for a new set of rules that matches the needs of the time.
I’m always learning, and I am forever learning that liberty doesn’t need a new set of rules or regulations that match “the changing times.” Liberty is timeless. It is about the freedoms guaranteed in our founding documents. It is about the spirit born in each one of us. It is about independence and self-worth that allow us to be all that we can be. Only then can we preserve the liberty for others.
I think of all the young men and women who join the service to earn the right to go to college. They are fighting and dying to preserve the American Dream. Will they be humiliated and met with derision for their commitment? Will they be made to feel stupid for believing in the things they fought for and many died for?
It’s not only college tuition that’s expensive. Much more expensive is what’s being taught there that can turn 63% of its graduates into believers that the American Dream is dead. These young graduates are many of our future leaders who will not even understand that they are continuing to turn out the lights on “the shining city on the hill.”
it was the dream of religious freedom that founded us, and it is the continuing dream of freedom that will preserve us. We must not lose it or not understand what it is. The alternative to a beautiful dream is an unwanted nightmare.