Pursuing Dreams in California
The development of technology and society has affected all areas of human life, including transportation, education, personal and professional relations. New inventions have contributed to the intensification of international trade, cross-cultural communication and the overall growth of world economy. Additionally, all people have gained equal rights, regardless of the differences they have. These changes have provided people from all over the world with countless new possibilities and emerging opportunities. Today, every person can change the place of living in pursuit of his/her personal dreams and desires. Therefore, it would be beneficial to analyze how people pursue their dreams.
The United States of America is the country that has been created by immigrants from all over the world. These people came to a new place, seeking for a better life for themselves and their children. It is often viewed as a place of great opportunities due to the principles of the American dream. Even today, people from other nations tend to move to the United States to use their chance for personal and career development. One of the richest American states, that are strongly associated with American dream, is California. It had become exceptionally popular due to the Golden Rush in 1849, when people from all over the world came there, searching for gold and their personal fortune (The Library of Congress, 2015). That is when the principles of Californian dream started to become evident. It can be viewed as a desire to gain fast profits, wealth and fame in a new land through any means necessary, including even criminal actions and endeavors. These principles have significantly contributed to the creation of American system of values and beliefs.
With time, the principles of Californian dream have changed, due to the evolution of American society and international economic and political situation. Such events as the development of film industry and computer technologies, have seriously affected California due to the creation of Hollywood and Silicon Valley. The state has become even more developed, rich and popular, contributing to the increasing number of immigrants from all over the world. My family represents an example of people who moved to California, looking for better life for themselves and greater opportunities for their children. Therefore, it would be beneficial to analyze it to determine how my life reflects the hopes and limits of the Californian dream.
First of all, it is essential to provide some background information about my family to understand why my parents made the decision to move to the United States. They were born and grew up in Poland, where they later met and got married. My father got the education of a car mechanic, while my mother became an English interpreter and a journalist in a local newspaper. They decided to move to the US in early 1990’s, but had to postpone this decision due to certain circumstances and eventually left Poland in 1997.
There were several main reasons for making this decision: an unstable political and economic situation in the region, growing social tension and distress in the country, and the desire of my parents to provide a better life for their children. The collapse of the Soviet Union has negatively affected the entire region, causing financial and economic downfall of neighboring countries due to the termination of trade, joined ventures and transit of goods through their territory (Linn, 2004). Moreover, the situation looked dire because lots of immigrants from former soviet republics started to flood the labor market of the European region. These changes led to increasing unemployment and the overall decrease in quality of life in Poland in 1990’s, causing social distress and uncertainty in the coming day among the population. Therefore, it can be stated that the reasons that made my parents move to the US were typical for the people of the region at that time. It was much easier for my family to move to California because some of our relatives had already immigrated during the third immigration wave in 1920’s, running away from the consequences of World War I (Shirey, 2015). Our relatives offered the essential help and support to my parents.
My family and I have enjoyed certain benefits of the American lifestyle and realized some aspects of the classic Californian dream. For example, my mother has become a freelance writer for several newspapers and today she is enjoying her personal freedom, flexible schedule and financial benefits of self-employment. At the same time, she earns a decent amount of money, contributing to our family’s financial security. My father has joined forces with several car mechanics and opened his own business, becoming a proud and successful member of American society and living up to his/her Californian dream. I am currently enjoying the benefits, offered by the education system of the United States, and getting a degree in international business operations, following my dream of becoming an owner or partner of an international trade company. It is possible to fulfill this desire because business women can achieve the same career success as businessman in California.
My family did not have to overcome many obstacles on our way to dreams. Our relatives, who have lived in California for over 70 years, have provided the needed help with paperwork and finding jobs for my parents. It was my father who faced the majority of obstacles on his way to Californian dream. He did not feel comfortable in American society and felt homesick, mainly due to his weak knowledge of English and lack of friends in a new place. Eventually, he solved the first problem and the second one disappeared almost momentarily. My mother, on the contrary, felt great in the new environment due to her high communication skills and respect that people pay to strong and dedicated women.
Recently, Californian officials have made several changes to the state policy concerning education and health services by decreasing the financing of these areas. This situation has not been topical for my family because both of my parents are self-employed professionals who have saved enough money for my education. Additionally, increasing competition in the labor market has stimulated them to improve their professional qualities and diversify their operations. Regretfully, the housing crisis can negatively affect my personal future in long-term perspective. According to latest surveys, California has the highest housing prices all around America, contributing to increasing poverty rates in the state (Gaarder, 2015). Therefore, it will be difficult for me to afford a house when I decide to create a family or simply move to a new place with my partner. This situation also creates obstacles to some of my friends who wish to immigrate to California from Europe, also searching for a better life.
My family has seen its share both of American and Californian history. We already lived in America when disastrous acts of terrorism happened on September 11, 2001. This tragedy has deeply affected our family and the whole United States. We understood that it was essential to take care of each other and cherish every moment together because anything could happen. This disaster has contributed to the principles of mutual help and tolerance in the United States and provided Americans with the understanding that there can be no mercy for enemies of the country, who want to bring destruction to the civilized world. Our family has seen how Arnold Schwarzenegger became the governor of California. This person is a movie legend, famous and loved all over the world for his contribution to the world culture. My father has always been keen on action movies with Schwarzenegger and raised me on them, despite of the fact that I am girl. Therefore, the day when he was elected the governor of California was a happy day for us and represents an outstanding moment in the history of the state.
Californian dream provides motivation for people to achieve greater results in all areas of activity and develop their personal and professional potential. Regretfully, this principle has seen some hard times recently due to difficult economic and political situation in modern America. Therefore, Californian dream must be preserved at all costs to make sure that American society is moving forward. In my opinion, there are several things that can be done to keep it alive. First of all, it is essential to promote the idea that hard times will pass and everyone should keep working hard, despite the obstacles on the way to their dreams. Secondly, the state authorities should not decrease the financing of education because such action will have negative long-term effects on the labor market and will lead to increasing social tension. Thirdly, the government should regulate the housing issues to make sure that all gifted people who want to live and work in California can afford to stay there and contribute to the development of the state.
The United States and, especially, California is the place of opportunity for people who are willing to work hard and pursue their dreams. My family illustrates the truth of this statement by its story of immigration and eventual success. Californian dream has always inspired us and made us put all available forces in the development of our personal and professional characteristics. Therefore, it is essential for government authorities to support this motivating idea and implement certain measures to keep it alive.