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The American Dream for Everyone

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The book “The Art of Being a Neighbor” by Eve Birch talks about the new American dream. Everyone thinks that the American dream is all about individual success but according to Birch she has changed her understanding about the American dream. In her book, she speaks about the shared American dream where people can succeed together instead of individually. Her change of mind came when she became homeless; instead of being miserable, she encountered with neighbors who helped, taught her new skills, and came to check on her regularly. Her neighbors’ kind hearts changed her perception about the American dream and she also found a way to help others when she went back to the city. Helping the needy ensures everyone lives the American dream.

Birch said “The America Dream I believe in is now a shared one. It is not so much what I can get for myself; it is about how we can all get by together” I agree with Birch’s idea; life is so much better when we help each other than when one works alone. When people work together, they achieve more than when an individual works alone. Working together also helps reach out to more people. In America life is expensive, and everyone is trying to live their own life without caring for others, with such an attitude more people become homeless, and no one cares about them. Sharing the American dream will help the homeless to have a place to sleep, and this will reduce the number of people on the street. At the same time, it will minimize insecurity as homeless people may engage in criminal activities to survive. Sharing the dream also helps people to advance. In the book, Birch says that after she left the hollow and moved back to the city, she rented a spacious place where she could accommodate the homeless people. She says that nine come in and moved out to other place meaning they were not stuck there. After some time they got back on their feet and moved out to live in a better place. I have seen some people helping the less fortunate in life, and this has enabled them to grow and become stable. It is better to help those who need help as this will change their mind about living the American dream where one cares only about his or her achievements.

The ideas discussed in the book relate to other things I have read about helping the less fortunate in our community. Caring about others promotes happiness as the person in need of help will feel valued. It also challenges the person to help others. To demonstrate, when Birch moved back to the city she decided to help the homeless because when she was homeless others helped her. If no one had helped her maybe she would have continued with the American Dream where everyone cares only about themselves (Birch 2). The author tries to convince people that the shared American Dream is better than the American dream where people dreamt of a job, cable, credit, and success; if we do not help each other then, most of us will not achieve their American Dream.

Helping the needy ensures everyone lives the American dream. The neighbors who helped Birch during her worst time enabled her to live the American dream as she was able to get back on her feet and help others. If the helpless are left alone, then only a few of us will enjoy the American dream. We should all be good neighbors and helping our needy neighbors.

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