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/
Okemos High School