Strategies for Achieving a Better American Dream

As technological, social and theoretical factors continue to reshape human consciousness across the globe, ideas about the ideal lifestyle have shifted. Many Americans today place greater value on assets that are intangible rather than tangible, and younger people would rather pay for experiences than possessions. However, a more responsible America awaits, and a focus on the following issues can help establish a better collective American dream.

1. Seeking Economic Justice

While the U.S. is supposed to be the land of opportunity, it’s clear that unfair barriers exist for minority groups. In the words of physician and writer Dr. Jason Campbell, we must “change the way we allow only some to dream but not others.” Systemic poverty and gender-driven wage inequality can be overcome in a society that gives everyone a fair chance to succeed.

2. Implementing Sustainability Practices

The American dream is built on the principle that hard work leads to a happy life where success means being able to do things and buy things at will. Having a nice home and convenient luxuries are comfortable but at what cost to future generations? Pollution and climate change are serious concerns and without intervention, the health of humanity is at risk. To ensure the planet is habitable for forthcoming populations, individuals, governments and industries must support sustainable systems.

3. Improving Public Health Programs

Health should be a human right, and each person should act in ways that protect themselves and others. However, misinformation and lack of education about contagions, epidemics and pandemics lead to unnecessary risk and loss of life across the globe. By strengthening the following public health strategies, Americans can make informed decisions to safeguard their communities:

  • Detecting health dangers to society
  • Preventing the spread of disease to the population
  • Prolonging life for all Americans
  • Providing education programs
  • Influencing policy and campaigning for government support

4. Promoting Peace

According to the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, the concept of peace is not one-dimensional. For a country that prides itself on being a “melting pot” with a diverse ethnic, cultural and religious population, the U.S. seemingly struggles with conflict resolution. Anger and fear lead to violence, which marginalizes minorities and forces them to live in trepidation in their homes and communities. The key to finding peace at home and in a global society is learning to respect, love and tolerate one another regardless of differences.

5. Reforming Criminal Justice

The U.S. Constitution ensures every defendant the right to defense counsel, but simply having an attorney doesn’t guarantee a fair penalty for committing a crime. Research shows that criminal mandatory sentencing laws disproportionately affect minority offenders and lead to prison overpopulation. This injustice not only burdens individuals and families but also taxpayers, and major policy changes are necessary to flatten the curve.

America has a rich history built on shared values including freedom, progress and equal opportunity. Technology and communication advance the social consciousness as well as the collective understanding of human impact on the earth. As a result, the pursuit of the American dream continues to evolve, but the nation still has a long way to go.