The American Dream has a lot of definitions, perhaps as many definitions as there are people to dream. But it’s safe to say that many people considered the American Dream to mean that if you worked hard and played by the rules, you could be successful. You could be financially secure, safely employed, and probably even own a home.
Those days seem to have passed us by. The financial situation, the worst since the Great Depression, seems to have brought with it an end to those assumptions most of us made about the rewards of hard work and following the rules. It feels as though the ground has shifted from under us, and we are working harder than ever just to keep up with what we already have.
Still, bleak as things can sometimes seem, there is also the fact that Americans are nothing if not resourceful. To that end, many of us have found ways to do an end-run around despair, to out-wit bad luck and to prosper despite being told that prosperity is no longer possible.
Others have not; as we have reported here many times, Martinez streets and parking lots are host to those who have lost everything, and find themselves sleeping wherever they can.
Each story of the American Dream is a piece of a mosaic that Martinez Patch, and all the other Patch sites around the country, will be examining in the days, weeks and months to come.
We hope your story is a dream that’s daily coming true. But if you have another kind of story to tell, we want to hear it. And we’ll be on the lookout for those stories as well. Sometimes, it helps to share our stories with each other. After all, it’s our America, and our dream.