During the “Skype Exchange”, John and I talked about the French and American Dream.
For John, the American Dream is a sort of myth which consists in climbing up the social ladder, through efforts and hard-working. Then you’re supposed to get success and money, two fundamental values in American’s society. He told me that he doesn’t believe in it because now, with the economic crisis, it’s difficult to earn money, and to have a stable financial situation. We both think that the American Dream is died today, it’s an illusion. On top of that, the globalization attenuates the ascension of the American economy, so you might be less successful than you expected to.
John thinks that the Self-Made man, a concept which includes individuality and hard-working for success, is part of American Dream, because you need to work hard to gain acceptance among the business world. Moreover, you definitely fulfill the American Dream if you become a Self-Made Man because you need the same qualities to achieve the “first goal” : being rich and successful.
Self-reliance, is not really necessary, you can progress alone and being successful without self-reliance, but live together in society is important even if sometime you’ve got to work alone. For John self-reliance is an important value in America because of the “Independence” of the continent during the 19th century. When it was the industrial revolution, America wanted to be independent of the others continents. Innovation and creativity are promoting by the American culture, for example, in college you have a lot of choice for courses you want to take. In America, Elementary and Middle School propose arts activities too, to make children develop at a very early age theses skills.
Then, he asked me about the french society, if there’s the same concept in France. I answer that there’s not really “french dream”, we don’t really want to work just to earn money. French people prefer working for the pleasure, a job that we want to do not really for money or success, but for the passion.