America’s values have changed throughout history and they are still changing. We tend to focus on ourselves more than on others or on society as a whole. In my opinion we should be focused on how we have freedom and independence but we are focused on living in a big house or having a lot of money. We should be proud that we have independence because some people don’t have what we have. We should feel lucky that we have chances that others don’t.

Our values are changing for being moral to having material things. In 1950 we were still thinking about freedom and equality but once we got to the 70s and 80s we started thinking about owning a home or having a ton of money (Shiller 2). We should focus on our individual rights that we have. We have rights that we think are obligated to have but other people in other countries don’t have those rights. To show that we believe in our values we have to support other countries that give their people the same rights that we have (Gilpin 3).

We need to show that we believe in our values as well. There are times in America it might seem like some values aren’t very important to us. Sometimes it seems like we don’t always find equality important like we should. In the Declaration of Independence it states that all men are created equal, but do we always believe in that? We should, everyone should get the same amount of respect no matter what they look like or what they believe in. We say that if you put in hard work then you would move up more in society, but that isn’t always true (Refugee Center 4). If you have a privileged background it is easier for you to work your way up in society (Refugee Center 5). Why don’t we make it more fair then? We have so much freedom in America but we don’t give everyone the same opportunities just because we don’t all look the same. We have the choice to believe what we want and look like what we want so why should we be judged for it? Why do we continue to take our freedom and independence for granted? Why do we care so much about material goods when we have the most important values already?

 

Gilpin, Caroline Crosson. “What Do American Values Mean to You?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 15 Sept. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/09/15/learning/what-do-american-values-mean-to-you.html.

 

Shiller, Robert J. “The Transformation of the ‘American Dream’.” The New York Times , 4 Aug. 2017, pp. 1–3.

“What Are American Values?” Refugee Center Online, Mar. 2015, https://therefugeecenter.org/resources/american-values/

 

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Values are Changing by Kelsey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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8 Comments
  1. Sydney 3 days ago

    Hi Kelsey,
    I agree with you that we should be focusing on bigger things like our freedom and independence more than what house we live in or what we wear. I thought your argument was well worded and I enjoyed reading your post.

  2. Lindsey 5 days ago

    This argument is extremely well-worded. I love the many different approaches to what it means to be American that you cover in this post. Your quote “we have so much freedom in America but we don’t give everyone the same opportunities just because we don’t all look the same” is very true. People are treated unfairly based on religion, race, and gender, something that is against American ideals of equality and freedom. We often praise our country for being a hub of liberty, but discrimination is still prevalent and needs to be addressed. I love that you end your paragraph with questions to keep the reader thinking. Awesome work!

  3. Penelope 5 days ago

    I love what you talked about in this. I definetly agree with our American ideals shifting from freedom to money and more physical things. You used very accurate sources to back yourself up and you knew exactly what you were talking about. We need to start showing our pride and independence. I love how strong this is.

  4. Noah 5 days ago

    I agree with you Kelsey, especially about the part about moving up in society some people just have it easier because of their background so really not everyone is truly getting that fair option. some people just have to work harder than others. We should feel lucky to have the freedom and independence to d what we need to do in this society.

  5. Vibha 5 days ago

    Hi Kelsey,

    I definitely agree with your argument, and I especially liked your first paragraph. When you said, “We tend to focus on ourselves more than on others or on society as a whole”, you made an extremely valid point. Often times in America, we find that when dealing with important issues we put ourselves in the other person’s shoes, but base our opinion on how it affects us, not others. Also, I liked how you asked questions instead of making statements in your third paragraph, which made your ending really strong.

    -Vibha

  6. Megan 5 days ago

    Kelsey, I totally agree! The American Dream is to be successful, have a big house and have a good family. But shouldn’t we be proud that we are living in America? We have freedoms that others not living in America could only dream of.

  7. Andre 5 days ago

    I like how your third paragraph asked us some questions to think about, and how you gave good facts on the first and second paragraphs.

  8. Paulina 5 days ago

    Kelsey,
    The ending to your piece is very strong. I like how you ended with questions to make the reader think about their own American values. I disagree when you said “We need to show that we believe in our values as well”. I think as Americans we always show our values whether we want to or not. I agree with you in the aspect that people who have privileged backgrounds have an easier time “moving up the ladder” but I also think they still worked hard to get there. I also like your hook it made me want to keep reading
    Thanks,
    Paulina

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