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What do you see as “the American dream,” and how is it associated to happiness and freedom? What are some places in the world where the definition of happiness and/or freedom might be different?

Using the film introduction for this unit as a guide, Nepal: A Girl's Life, do some research and discuss how happiness is understood in another country or culture.

The example of Nepal from the video is one example; select another culture or country for your example.

Also, consider how freedom is defined in this specific country or culture. Give specific examples of both happiness and freedom in the country or culture you select; incorporate credible sources and reference the Unit 4 reading material. Include APA formatting.


QUESTION: What do you see as “the American dream,” and how is it associated to happiness and freedom?

ANSWER: In a society where autonomy is encouraged and dependence on others or even interdependence is thought of as a weakness, it is safe to say that the "American dream" is success by one's own hand with no help from others. My vision of the American dream is quite different. I believe success is found in whose lives you touched while you were alive...whose life was forever changed because of you. Society says success is monetary gain or material possessions...I say the American dream, the way to be truly happy, is to meet as many new people as possible, make as many friends as you can, and touch lives along the way. Also, society says freedom is doing whatever we please without fear of consequences or repercussions. I say true freedom is knowing who you are, what you want, and where you are going.  

QUESTION: What are some places in the world where the definition of happiness and/or freedom might be different?
ANSWER: In poverty and disease stricken places like Africa, happiness and freedom are far more simple matters than they are here in the US. In Africa, happiness is stuff like having clean water to drink, or food to eat. Freedom is going beyond one's home or voting an a local election...stuff we take for granted. 


Hello Professor and Classmates,

If I had to characterize the one thing, we here in America, cherish the most in our own lives, it would be freedom. Now freedom means different things to different people. Economic freedom. Freedom of speech. Religious freedom. But those are just terms which further define the concept of personal freedom, which everyone seems to want. It draws people from other shores like a magnet, immigrants and terrorists alike.

But in our own lives, whatever our political views, we expect to live our lives free, without interference from outside forces, providing we have not broken any laws of the land. As Trungpa states on page 516 in Janaro & Altshuler (2012) if you don’t surrender to reality you will never know true freedom, to have acceptance of life and embrace the pain we can be liberated and be truly free. To live the American dream means to follow your passions, strive for wealth, success, and love with the hopes of having whatever dream may be yours is what brings happiness to our lives.

In other cultures such as the Irish that dream is not far from our own. With their laid back attitudes they pursue happiness and enjoy the freedoms won from the United Kingdom. Their culture is not much different than our own and strives to follow what their own passions are in life. Traditions are more valued and family honored so it brings joy to follow customs. A typical Irish tradition is probably hundreds of years old and some still seen as a common tradition for many families (Wilson, N.D.).


Janaro, R., & Altshuler, T. (2012). The Art of Being Human: The Humanities as a Technique for Living. New York: Pearson Longman.

Wilson, T. (N.D.). Culture of Ireland. Retrieved from Every Culture:

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