December 10, 2020 in Culture

American Life


Sooner or later, every person thinks about his purpose and place in the world. Sometimes it occurs in adolescence, and sometimes a person lives his life without hesitation, and in old age reap the benefits of meaninglessly past years. In my opinion, it is important and necessary to think about own mission, because the fate may depend on these thoughts and decisions. Finding a self and own place in the world is a difficult task, however, the earlier a person starts to think about it, the better.

Worldview of a person shapes his future actions. The answer on the issue whether a man is a master of his fate, or he should passively go with the times determines whether the person will take active measures to make his life richer and more fulfilling, or will passively wait for a miracle. I consider myself to be among the first category of people. Telling the truth, I am convinced that every person is born with a certain potential, and it is important to realize this potential. Of course, everyone is different; all people have different abilities and different possibilities for a successful start in life. However, for myself, I decided that I would do everything possible to develop myself and be useful for people. Everyone aspires to a harmonious life, even unconsciously. However, one represents his harmony in his way. From my point of view, it is significant to comprehend self in all spheres of life.

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Destiny, Faith, or Science? 

Cogitations on life, own place in this world and the sense of everything happening around a person doubtless come to each individual at some point of life. Most often, it is a turning point or an intricate situation that pushes a person to make a difficult choice. After all, when a person feels good and relaxed, he/she does not want to think and reason, but simply to enjoy a moment. Each speculates on the fate of life on his own. That person is under a delusion, who believes that his way is a road, fenced with barbed wire, with no crook, no matter how hard a person tries, he is just bruised and bleeding, but keeps going. These thoughts lead to passivity and hopelessness and push to seek a way out. In fact, peoples destiny is a vast plain with a lot of roads, turns and forks. At every turn, a man can make a choice, which path to choose and which action to perform, with whom he would like to go further and who should stay in the past. Intrinsically, each encounter in life is not accidental, but is destined. Some people become friends, some will love and some will betray striking very much. I think that the aim of appearing of each new person in my way is to learn something new and to make own ratiocinations.

Not all of the wider public should be pleasant. Negative experience helps to temper character, to evaluate current developments; a person takes a step toward good or evil. With hindsight, one can see how many times the only one day in the life became decisive. One word, one act could change everything and turn everything. It is, therefore, important to consider and not to commit anything on emotions. The life is long, and it is impossible then to recall back to the same moment and change something. It is unnecessary to move the responsibility for some failures on cruel fate, since it can suggest a few solutions, and the responsibility for taking a decision lies on a person.

What person has influenced my life most of all? This question made me think. To be honest, I never thought about it. Indeed, in my life, there are always some people who affect my life and, thus, my fate. Some people more, some people less… It is hard to remind the extent how a person shaped my life. Perhaps, someday, on the slope of life, the question would get me thinking again, and then I can accurately determine such a person. Of course, I do not say that I do not have such people. Of course, I have. For example, my parents. Here, truly, they have influenced my life greatly. Right from my birth, they grew me up, they helped me, taught, educated. Thanks to them, I became precisely the kind of person that I am today. In my opinion, it is a strong influence. In addition, best friends with whom I have spent my entire adult life have had a strong influence on my life. People say that love changes the person. Currently, I state with assurance that this is so. Under the influence of a loved one the whole life goes in another way, a completely new way.

It is not easy to think of a term such as fate. Naturally, I often hear this word from different people. Though, different people understand the fate quite differently. Some say that everything depends on the fate. Someone say that the fate is God creation. Other people say that man builds his destiny and he defines his life. As William James say, it is a persons will to believe. If a lighted match or cigarette butt was thrown into the grass, then a fire will happen. Everything in life is determined by the actions of the man himself, all have understandable reasons. Personally, I believe that every person, of course, has a fate, but only in a different sense. After all, someone is born in the family of a president, while another persons parents are drug addicts. Nevertheless, I am sure that one can change for the better own fate and the fate of others. Instead of complaining about bad fate, a person just needs to act. At the same time, one should remember about his own responsibility, since some people shape the future of others.

Breaking away from the concept of destiny, and shifting the angle of view to the religion and science controversies; I can say that faith is the source of knowledge, its material beginning. It brings people face to face with the inaccessible for the consciousness essence of things. The man believing in something has already some knowledge, even if this knowledge doesnt seem to be clear, it is an inner contemplation – and only after the analytical work of the brain one receives the knowledge. In my opinion, religion and science have shared object of attention. Only the first takes any fact as such, completely trusting, and science checks it, seeks in practice to confirm or deny it. It can be illustrated by the example of seeking God. Thus, a person who believes does not seek to find firstly the material evidence of the existence of God, and he just feels it. A person who prefers the science seeks to rationalize everything, bring an axiom, and can only see to believe. Religion is a confidence in unknown. I relate to the type of people who are open to new information, but want the experience to teach me to know it with any confidence. Therefore, one can conclude that I am non-religious (or religious in my way) and I tend to believe in science.

Despite of the fact that my parents and my friends influenced me greatly, my life-approach differs from those of my parents. For me, the only start line of the life road is predetermined either by God, either by some kind of fate, but the same life way the person chooses by himself. I deeply believe that life is a challenge; it is a game, a competition of persons wishes and doings. In case a person reaches all his goals and dreams- a person wins a game. In other case it is only a persons fault. To-day, I aim to reach success in all my endeavors; these are the professional growth in Sociology, and realization of so-called American dream.

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American dream

Talking about what makes me move toward success and self-development, perhaps I can say about America as a country of human freedoms. After all, compared to China, there are so many opportunities that Native Americans do not even notice. As a future social worker, I am deeply interested in the processes, happened in the US. Thus, it is that I would like to discuss further. July 4, 1776 an event occurred that had a huge impact all over the world – the Declaration of Independence of North American states was signed. It proclaimed independence from Great Britain and formed the new state – the United States of America. This led to the activation of individual creativity. The so-called American dream began to form. The quintessence of American dream is considered to be the idea that every person that has abilities, energy and hard work, is capable via an honest way to succeed in life, becoming a respectable and wealthy man. Frank I. Luntz, with whom I strongly agree, in the book Americans Talk about the American Dream says that Americans more than other nations believe that the success of a person depends on his personal abilities and honest labor, and not on the original belonging to a certain social class or group. Once the United States seemed to the Europeans a unique country, where there are no kings and nobility, that is, the structure of society and the rules of conduct were not conditioned by class differences. The US has never had the official religion, and religious tolerance has always flourished, which also featured the United States from the vast majority of countries around the world. American lives were not pinned down by hundreds of thousands of formal and informal laws, traditions and customs.

In the second half of the 19th century, a prolific writer of pulp novels Horatio Alger transferred the concept of the American Dream from the religious and philosophical spheres in the sphere of mass culture. In his novels, bootblacks became millionaires, thus, an old tale about Cinderella, who found happiness only thanks to a happy marriage, acquired a new meaning. In 1870-1900 years, the US became the country of industrial development and became the leading industrial power in the world. Some entrepreneurs (sometimes referred to as robber barons), by personal example demonstrated the correctness of Alger and became a real symbol of the American Dream. For example, the famous industrialist Andrew Carnegie was an immigrant, came from an impoverished family, has received almost no formal education. However, due to his own perseverance, talent, hard work he turned first to the captain of the US economy, and later the politician and the largest world-class philanthropist. The appearance of people like Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and others further consolidated the confidence of Americans that every person can achieve prosperity in an honest way of life.

The very phrase the American Dream came from the pen of the historian James Truslow Adams, who in 1931 published the book The Epic of America. That year the United States experienced a severe economic crisis – the Great Depression. Adams has asked the publisher of this book to give the name of the American Dream, but the publisher abjured, persuading that the genuine American never wastes $3.50 on the purchase of dreams. Adams retorted, noting that the real American is always ready to spend for a dream every last penny, but the publisher insisted. Adams described the American dream, as the dream of a land in which life will be richer and more fulfilling for everyone; where everyone has equal opportunities and, if desired, can be fully realized. The American Dream – is not only the hope for higher earnings, but also for the social order in which each person will have a possibility for achievement the best results and gaining recognition. After the appearance of the book on sale, the term American Dream firmly entrenched in the lexicon of the Americans. Historian Jeffrey Luis Decker, author of Made in America, came to the conclusion that the Adams book appeared at the right time and right place. The Americans needed a reassessment of values, inspiration and optimism throat – a phrase of Adams was precisely the medicine the country needed. Despite the many upheavals that the United States have experienced over the past decade, the dream survived. It acquired new shades, for example, it included the belief of people in the US need to form a well-built and cheerful family that is bound to have several children. The family should live in their home, among good neighbors, surrounded by animals and own car.

In addition, the concept of the American dream has an inherent idea that every man, who possesses abilities, energy, and hard work, is capable to succeed in life, and, moreover, he is to succeed in an honest way. In my opinion, the realizing of this idea is a turning point in persons consciousness. Most of contemporary philosophers, who analyzed the phenomenon of the American dream come to the conclusion that it is the basis of the principle of individual freedom – freedom of expression, creativity and entrepreneurship. In other words, this is quite earthly dream of material abundance based on certain ideal conception of life, the national ideal, where each ethnic group is free to live, think and act, in the best possible manner of their abilities and their craving. Thanks to the concept of the American dream the concept of success finally moved towards the personal qualities of the person. Accordingly, the person himself accomplishes his destiny.

In todays post-industrial society, everyone can be successful under certain conditions, such as the presence of the target, the correct definition of own vocation, self-esteem, education, flexible mentality, communication skills, a willingness to learn and others. A man is a multifaceted, complex being. Simultaneously, there are a lot of thoughts, ideas and dreams in the same person. Sometimes, these thoughts are contradictory. For example, a person has a conscious desire to get promoted, but subconsciously he is afraid of extra responsibility and stress. As a result, he does not receive rotation of the position upwards. It means, that in addition to the conscious desire to have, a person has subconscious fears, concerns, or what psychologists call real intent (real, not imposed from the outside, a mans desire). It turns out that multi-vector orientation does not allow a person to move on. This inner conflict is usually painful. In my life, I aspire to clearly set goals and achieve success with confidence; to accomplish my destiny without regrets.

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Role Model

For me, an example of courage and strength of character and a clear aim in the life is a man, whose significant contribution to the civil rights movement of blacks made legend and an icon in American history. The short pre-history: during long period, the blacks were totally discriminated, and there were only segregated movements in favor of African Americans. However, in 20th century, the movement for the blacks civil rights strengthened. Different social activists and authors published their works in behalf of the Blacks. Martin Luther King Jr., a person who inspires me, was one of the most prominent human rights defenders of the XX century, advocating non-violent social changes. King was born in Atlanta (GA). For the first time, his outstanding declamatory skills and individual bravery fascinated the interest of the whole nation in 1955, when he and some other activists defenders of human rights have been arrested for holding a Montgomery boycott against the transport company in Alabama, which demanded that the Blacks give way to white and stood or sat at the rear of the bus. During the subsequently ten years, King curated nonviolent revolts and mass demonstrations in order to encourage attention to racial discrimination and to insist on the adoption of civil rights laws that would protect African Americans rights.

In 1963 in Birmingham, King led a peaceful mass demonstration, which the white police met with dogs and fire hoses, triggering a confrontation that was covered in newspapers all around the world. The culmination of the ensuing mass demonstrations in many countries was the march, which gathered more than 250,000 protesters in Washington, where King delivered his famous speech I Have a Dream, in which he talked about a world, where people will no longer be divided according to race. The movement inspired by King was so powerful that Congress passed the Human Rights Act in 1964, the same year, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, King became the idol of the human rights movement. His life and work symbolizes the struggle for equality and end discrimination, which is a cherished dream of America and all mankind.

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To my mind, it is important to adequately assess own significance for the world. Some people forget that each of us is just one of the six billion. Tens of thousands of people are born and die every day. Therefore, perhaps, one should not behave as if he is the lord of the world and arbiter… Modesty adorn, it has been and will be in all the times. On the other hand, many people tend to go to the other extreme and underestimate themselves. It is also wrong, because every day brings people a lot of opportunities for development and helping others, and one should not neglect them. The issue of finding own place in life is very complex question and may require a lot of time to answer it. For myself, I have decided what I want and what is worthwhile to endeavor. I hope that the circumstances will develop favorably, and my life will be interesting, rich and harmonious.

Harmonious man is healthy, happy, and fortunate. He seeks to realize his potential, which will undoubtedly benefit society. After all, the implementation of peoples talents moves society towards progress in science, in business, in art and in pedagogy, and in other areas. A person, who realizes his talents and meets his needs, is a successful person. Thus, the implementation of a versatile personality and harmony is the main criterion of success in my opinion.

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