Sonia Sotomayor was nominated to the Supreme Court by the President today. The Vice President described her story as "incredible" and "summing up the american dream." Sotomayor is truly a living rags-to -riches story. It is encouraging to see that out of an impoverished an potentially hopeless situation she rose above and achieved a position even the wealthiest Americans envy.
Opthalmologist Steve Blaydes of the renowned Blaydes Clinic was born into money. His father was famous for the development of modern-day cataract surgery and travelled the country speaking on his work. Steve attended Princeton and graduated with a degree in Political Science. After a year in Washington, Steve realized he was not happy in politics. After volunteering in the medical field he decided to return to school to obtain his M.D. and work for his family's practice. Today he is a hard-working individual who genuinely cares for each and every one of his patients and lives a quiet life with his family in a small town in Virginia.
My own father came from an immigrant household. His father's family had immigrated from China shortly before his father was born. His mother met my grandfather when he was stationed in Germany. She was an orphan and returned to the states with dad's dad. They divorced when he was a teenager, and dad had to deal with a torn family and cultural divides at a young age. He went on to attend a community college, eventually going to VCU and Virginia Tech for his Ph.D. in Chemistry. He is one of the most talented, intelligent individuals I know. He works hard for our family who lives a comfortable, but not lavish lifestyle. He hates his job.
What is the American Dream? Is it coming from having nothing and poverty to immense riches and power? Is it following in the footsteps of your family? Is it working hard for no gain?
When I think about the American Dream in terms of my own life...women are still pigeon-holed into the 1950's mentality of "I have to find a husband and have children. Then my life will be fufilled." Of course there are plenty of women who don't take this route and prove that there is freedom with lifestyle choice in today's society. But the norm is still:
a. Focus on looking good to attract men
b. Attract man and charm him with wit and humor
c. Marry man
d. Have children
e. Raise children. Repeat
Sometimes I just don't know if that's what the American Dream is all about.