America is and forever will be the land of opportunities. The American Dream is different for everyone, and as Robert J. Shiller said in his article The Transformation of the American Dream, this world-renowned dream has changed over the years and doesn’t mean the same thing as it did a century ago (Shiller). Since 1917, we have gone through 18 Presidents, 2 World Wars, a Great Depression, a “Cold War” in which not a single soul was harmed, and terrorist attacks on our country that will never be forgotten. Yet we still stand here today as a nation, stronger than ever, waiting for whatever challenge we may have to face next, waiting to take whatever is thrown at us and not only persevere through it, but continue to strive as a nation. No matter what our government has to deal with, no matter how our individual opinions differ, no matter if we’re white, black, yellow, orange, tall, or short, we will always be given a chance to make the most out of our lives, we will always have opportunities – from pursuing any career you want to fulfilling your American Dream to living the way that you choose to live – that make us who we are, and who we all are is defined by one word: American.

From the principle foundation of America, the rights of all people were described in solid writing in our Declaration and our Constitution. These rights were not only defined, but they were named as “inalienable” so that the government could never take away any person’s freedom. Furthermore, it was established that if a body of government became too powerful, it was the responsibility of the people to alter or abolish it. By the government granting us our freedom to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in our Declaration of Independence (US 1776), it set the precedent of an economic, social, and political freedom of all people that has forever stood and forever will continue to stand. Our Constitution gives every single citizen the ability to live a life without restrictions, regulations, or intervention by the federal government, which ties into our American Dream by laying down the opportunity for any citizen to pursue any career that they might choose. With no large government to force people to be a farmer or a doctor or a part of the nobility, citizens of America have always been and will always be free to outline their own life, no matter who is in office. Although there has been some controversy lately over our president, America is still a constitutional republic, and we will always have the right to express our voice as citizens. As Michelle Kumar – author for The Daily Iowan – proclaimed in her recent article discussing the current state of the American Dream, “After all, we are a democracy, and that means the people make a country, not the president” (Kumar). Even though over half the people in this country did not vote for Donald Trump, we can not lay blame on one man if we are upset with the way this country is headed because we still have a claim to those inalienable rights so prominently mentioned in our Declaration and so thoroughly described in our Bill of Rights. After all, we are free Americans, and if we do not like the direction of our nation, we will always have the opportunity to alter or abolish our system of government.

One intrical part to the social structure of America is the equality of all people, no matter what their race or religion. Although during the founding of our nation it was very common for people to own slaves, our doctrine of beliefs was still centered around the principle that all people are created equally, as written in the Declaration of Independence (US 1776), it just took some time for our government to grant all people equal rights. However, we still have not gained full equality, as we still see examples today of women earning less than men in the workplace or African Americans facing discrimination in their lives. Despite these hardships that are often prominent in our society, any person in this country will still have opportunities as promised in the defining documents of our country. One specific example is demonstrated in the life of Malcolm Little, a young African American boy living in the Lansing area during the Great Depression. His life story is told in the book X: A Novel, written by Malcolm Little’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz, and his hard fought life is very thoroughly described in various scenarios throughout this book, yet through hunger, relocation, the loss of his parents, and discrimination, Malcolm found the opportunity to relocate to Boston and live with his sister where he began to be exposed to politics and develop his own beliefs, which in turn developed the world-renowned civil rights activist Malcolm X. Even though Malcolm faced about the hardest conditions that a person could face, he had an opportunity to express his disgust with the way he had to live and the way that others of his race had to live, and by taking this opportunity and pursuing his American Dream of spreading equality, Malcolm X succeeded in defying poverty and proving that no matter who you are or where you live, the American Dream is out there, you just have to go find it.

Perhaps the most important opportunity that we enjoy as Americans is the opportunity to live, which doesn’t mean that we’re allowed to be born, but signifies that we have the opportunity to pursue any form of life that we desire. Americans are indeed free, and freedom can be defined by the choices that we are allowed to make on any given day that might impact our lives. If we choose to make dinner one night, we can make dinner. If we choose to have a family reunion, we can have a family reunion. If we choose to be Christian on Monday-Friday and Muslim on Saturday and Sunday, we can very well do that as well. It may sound silly to be praising all of these rights, but many foreign countries tell their citizens what to think, where to live, who to acquaint yourself with, where to work, and what religion to worship. One common example that comes to everyone’s mind right away is North Korea, where their Communist government restricts their citizens to a point where there are no citizens, only government. Our claims to our rights in the Constitution go deeper than someone being allowed to plead the 5th to a police officer or another person keeping a gun in their household, our rights as citizens of the United States permit us to live the lives that we always dreamed of, to picture our American Dream and to see it achieved 20 years down the road, to look at some stars and stripes and feel like we’re home. All of these actions demonstrate the opportunities that will always be available to us, the people of America, living in one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all (Pledge), because all of us are Americans, and Americans will always have the opportunity to live the absolute best life they can live, and this right is and forever will be protected in the Constitution of the United States of America.

Works Cited
Lam, Katherine. “The Transformation of the ‘American Dream’.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 4 Aug. 2017.

Kumar, Michelle. “Kumar: The American Dream Is Not Dead Yet.” The Daily Iowan, The Daily Iowan, 15 Sept. 2017.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 The United States of America: a Nation of Opportunities by Owen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

9 Comments
  1. Myka 1 month ago

    Dear Owen ,

    I am not surprised by the things you said in your article but i do agree with the things you say. These are the things that people in the usa think everyday.For example, Perhaps the most important opportunity that we enjoy as Americans is the opportunity to live, which doesn’t mean that we’re allowed to be born, but signifies that we have the opportunity to pursue any form of life that we desire. Americans are indeed free, and freedom can be defined by the choices that we are allowed to make on any given day that”. This is how i feel as an American. People in america probably think this everyday.

    The one sentence that stood out to me was ” the united states permits us to live the lives we always dreamed of , to picture our american dream and see it achieved twenty years down the road. ” This explains how Americans see and know how they want to live but there are still obstacles here that prevent this from happening.
    One thing i disagree with is “ After all, we are free Americans, and if we do not like the direction of our nation, we will always have the opportunity to alter or abolish our system of government”. I’m not sure what you were trying to say exactly with this point but from what i gathered i disagree in asense. I mostly disagree because i feel that not many are heated in an attempt to speak against the government.It is true that we have the opportunity to do so doesn’t mean we are capable to abolish it.
    Thank you for writing i look forward to seeing more of your views and points on this topic or any other topic in general. I admired how you took your time to express the way you feel about such underrated topic.

  2. Meshach 1 month ago

    Dear Owen,

    I am satisfied with your writing, “The United States of America: a Nation of Opportunities” because it appears to hold qualities of a truthful piece of writing in most of its aspects. It is also detailed enough to paint a picture for those who are not habitants of the country

    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is “…we still have not gained full equality, as we still see examples today of women earning less than men in the workplace or African Americans facing discrimination in their lives. ” I think this is appreciable because it allows for the audience to see the good and bad in the U.S., and it is not told in its entirety all the problems of this country, but it isn’t downplayed.

    Another sentence that I noticed was: “ Malcolm X succeeded in defying poverty and proving that no matter who you are or where you live, the American Dream is out there, you just have to go find it.” This stood out for me because I felt like this one piece of information tells the story for majority of citizens in the United States.

    I don’t fully agree with you that rights granted to citizens are inalienable. One reason I say this is that in the Constitution it states that all rights may be taken away from you and that you may be a slave in an event that a citizen is incarcerated. Another reason disagree with you is that there are things within this setup for certain people to fail and for some to remain in power and remain wealthy. Therefore, not allowing everyone to have a fair chance at achieving their goals as an individual.

    Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, many topics are highly arguable and controversial, and it is a healthy way for ideas to be exchanged.

  3. Parth 1 month ago

    Dear Owen:

    I am astounded with the level of your detail and description in your essay your letter on The American Dream, “The United States of America: a Nation of Opportunities
    ” because it includes thing from over 250 years ago, which emphasizes your detail. Moreover, explaining the job and importance of the declaration of independence reallys adds to the thoroughness of your document. And lastly explaining equality is an impr

    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “One intrical part to the social structure of America is the equality of all people, no matter what their race or religion.” I think this is significant because it shows the core part of the melting pot of a nation that the US is today, a homage for people seeking religious freedom.

    Another sentence that I looked at was: “Perhaps the most important opportunity that we enjoy as Americans is the opportunity to live”. It expressed one of the reasons why people say that america is a 1st world country, meaning that it has all the freedoms.

    I don’t really agree with you that, “ Americans will always have the opportunity to live the absolute best life they can live” One reason I say this is because of religious freedom a lot of people come here and they get discriminated against. Another reason I disagree with you is because because so people don’t have a great started in life, so instead it should read most will always have the opportunity to live the absolute best life they can live

    Thanks for taking the time to get a grade and write this powerful document. Hope to see you again on another document.

  4. Isaiah 1 month ago

    Dear Owen

    I am very relieved about this post, “The united states of america” because it shows that people can look at the brighter side of things and be optimistic to society. The point of view about the world that we all have a fair chance at life is very intelligent. To me it’s always great to see a view about america that’s not “We are always being oppressed by whites

    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “Our Constitution gives every single citizen the ability to live a life without restrictions, regulations, or intervention by the federal government, which ties into our American Dream by laying down the opportunity for any citizen to pursue any career that they might choose. With no large government to force people to be a farmer or a doctor or a part of the nobility” I think this is agreeable because people do take for granted america where as in the U.K you literally can’t go to the bathroom at a certain time yet they don’t tell you this. America is fair that you can pick your career and be anything that you want to be

    Another sentence that I liked was: “Malcolm X succeeded in defying poverty and proving that no matter who you are or where you live, the American Dream is out there, you just have to go find it.” This stood out for me because it is true. Even though malcolm went through poverty malcolm still had major opportunities throughout his like to be able to support himself individually.

    I do strongly agree with you that we are free people and we have free opportunities to do anything that we want in life and that America is a good place. One reason I say this is that other countries (Iran, Iraq, Islam etc…) tell you what to do and/or what to say with punishment for not doing said things. Another reason I agree with you is that the people of america are the ones to make the country and not the president which is something i feel like everyone should know because if something happens most likely we’re ready to blame him, even though some of it is his fault there are a lot of things where it’s not.

    Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because i love seeing a new point of view about the feelings of america. It shows that there is a good and bad side to everything and most should stop looking at the bad.

    -isaiah

    • Author
      Owen 1 month ago

      Isaiah,
      Thank you so much for your reply. I’m very glad that my positive message was able to reach you, I myself was a little tired of hearing everyone complain about the injustices that they claim engulf the entire nation, so I decided to write this piece about all the wonderful things in our wonderful country, characteristics that commonly go unnoticed and are frequently taken for granted in this day and age. I suggest that you check out some articles about the current situation in the middle eastern countries that you mentioned, it really makes you appreciate everything that we have as Americans, even further beyond the points that I brought up.

  5. Allison 3 months ago

    Owen,

    I really liked how much detail and time you put into your writing. I can tell you worked extremely hard on researching your topics. One spot that stood out to me is that you said a lot of people didn’t vote for Donald Trump but still have to live with it because the other half of Americans did vote. I thought this was interesting because people sometimes make it like a public official is just randomly appointed which isn’t always the case because there are people that have to vote for them. I also liked how you used well known documents to make your points more clear.

    • Author
      Owen 3 months ago

      Thank you Allison, I think that it’s very important that people realize that although they might not like who’s not in office, they were elected nonetheless and America will still be America due to the checks and balances that exist in our government and I’m glad that I got that point across to you.

  6. Lila 3 months ago

    Owen,

    I was really interested in your paper because of how intriguing your opening paragraph is. It really made me want to keep reading and your sentence fluency is amazing! I agree with your claim, and I also believe that equality and opportunity are extremely important. This really is a nation of opportunity. Great work!:)

    • Author
      Owen 3 months ago

      Thank you Lila!! I appreciate the feedback and I’m glad that you enjoyed my post! It’s very important – especially in today’s world – to have a uniting force among our citizens and that Americans realize how truly amazing all of our opportunities are.

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