Humanities Essay: American Dream vs. Filipino Dream

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I think when most people think of the American Dream they think of the part in the Declaration of Independence where is says that all men are created equal and that they have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But that’s the rub, what is happiness. I think now-a-days most people would equate it with making as much money as possible to have the “good life”. Of course, this can mean different things to different people. I think most people would like to own their own home and have enough money to provide their family adequately. In 2006, my husband and I were privileged to be able to make a trip to the Philippines to pick up my son who served a two year mission there for our church. From what I saw there, what my son told me and remarks made by our native Filipino guide, Beth Grafilo, I have concluded that the Filipino people envy the American people and would love to be able to live the American Dream. (J. Saxton & B. Grafilo, personal communication, 2006). The unfortunate fact is that the majority of them live in abject poverty and will never attain it. Mrs. Grafilo is affluent in contrast to most Filipinos. She owns a van, which is considered a luxury there. For her it is her means of livelihood and therefore a necessity. The Filipino people are hardworking and good at figuring out ways of making money. If they have a good job, they have to lean over backwards to keep it. Therefore, customer service is exemplary there. Entrepreneurship is valued also because often the best way to make money is to have your own business. A couple of interesting things that I noted were that in the most humble homes that we visited they still had a TV. I also noted that there is basically no homelessness in the Philippines because they will live anywhere they can put up a shelter. Shanty Towns abound there. Lucky for them the Philippines has a very temperate climate. I have never been out of the United States before and to go to essentially a third world...
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