The American Dream Vs The Russian Soul

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The events of September 11th will undoubtedly serve as a permanent reminder to the nation of the weakness that can co-exist in strength. Consequently, the events of nine eleven have also drastically renaissance the moral fibers of the American public.

The socio-economic status of America prior to September 11th was fraught with the ideologies of prosperities and the misconception that one is able to live a life of perfection, if they so desire. In other words most American?s tried in whatever way they can to live out the so-called ?reality? of the American Dream. The phrase "the American Dream" was not just another maxim, rather a metaphoric trophy that much of the American society still seeks to win. The Oxford English Dictionary describes the American Dream as "the ideal of a democratic and prosperous society which is the traditional aim of the American people; a catchphrase used to symbolize American social or material values in general".

Sadly, the terrorist attacks on this nation, was not just a physical invasion on American?s protected freedom, but it was also a catalyst that if not permanently, temporarily forced the American public to sicklingly prioritize, beyond the real of material.

Consequently, the average American is not held accountable for total blame, as they are only held accountable to society?s dispose. The irony of the situation is that the American culture was founded on the premises of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However the past and the present misguided fancies of the media, the gullible general public the so called "movers and shakes" and of course the American intelligentsia have rapidly transitioned the rightful meaning of these American premises. In doing so they artificially transcended the true dreams and aspirations of a society with tasteless advertising, vague comparison of hollow maxims like "one must keep up with the Jones?s".

Therefore to fully understand this nation and all what the word ?society? entails, with a fairly unbiased opinion, a comparison or juxtaposition of some sort, oftentimes, ease the task. Hence the reason, this paper is comparing and contrasting American wonts and social hierarchies with that of Russia. Despite obvious differences between the two countries in terms of the political, economic and social climates, in the midst of such disparity a major consistency is revealed in the two countries- te need for unification.

When compared to other nations especially Russia, the initial perception is that they fail in comparison to the United States. However, how is America views on the other side? In a nation such as this one, which is bursting with untapped potential in practically, all areas of life, the poignant reality is that despite all power, prestige and praise that the American society echoes to the world, a balance of what really matters had not yet been established within the culture. Moreover, oftentimes it takes groundbreaking events to spur genuine emotions of concern and an outpouring of patriotism from the general public. The question that then arises is that, why should patriotism and concern for the welfare of America is seasonal and only proceed events where that type of action is not only welcomed but fervently applauded. Therefore, it is this type of sporadic, feigned nationalism coupled with misdirected individual motives of grandeur, that inevitably eroded the already q! uivering social foundation, and as a result, makes the goal of identifying and obtaining the greater good blurred and almost unattainable.

Unlike the United States, Russia?s history confronts its people with an crippling effect, which prevents them from obtaining a national pride and hinders them form pressing on with a forward notion of being, what renowned Russian author Dostoevsky states- real Russians ;obtaining a universal manhood. The overall Russian population was and still is in a deep despair. This despair stems from the reins that were held by a suppressive government over the people, a poor economic climate and unhealthy social relations. The majority of the Russian people are strict defenders of the status quo, they opt and value security and strong social order, over the likelihood of any social unrest. Therefore, what is the Russian soul?- A representation of the present culture embedded in each and every Russian. It is the need for recognition- the recognition of universality and the melancholy truth that one will never truly exist. The Russian soul is a manifestation of all the hopes and dreams! of the nation, not the vain conceited materialistic goals that modern westerners have, but the simple wish for a better tomorrow. Russian journalist Duane Goeher asserts that: The Russian soul has been described as sensitive, revere, imaginative, an inclination to tears ( but not publicly) compassionate, submissive, mingled with stubbornness, patience that permits survival in what would seem to be unbearable circumstances, poetic mysticism, fatalism, a penchant for walking in the dark, introspective, sudden unmotivated cruelty, mistrust of rational thought ,fascination- the list goes on. He also noted, that the Russians maintain their, integrity in a way that conforms to their inner notion of what a human being should be, with a blatant honesty, and integrity seldom seen elsewhere in the world. Above all, they have an appreciation for wholeness or complete commitment and faith, no matter what the faith might be related to.

Unlike the American?s the Russians "endure rather than enjoy". They endure the torments of the cultural myth that obliges them to remain the special people that they are. The special people who assume an oath of poverty and welcome a disturbing humility. They are constantly at tragic odds with themselves, the reason being dejection and dampness that exist, within their environment and dissolves the spontaneity and freeness amongst them. They are always resolving to do, but do nothing to resolve their problems. Their largeness of spirit allows them to hold extremely high ideals for both country and themselves. Sadly, holding on to high and almost unattainable goals is the closest they may ever get to true life fulfillment. This illustrates another characteristic of the Russian Soul, hopefulness for the future. This dramatic intensity juxtaposed with a weak and unstable society in terms of socio-economic factors, leave the average Russian on the forefront of indecision and di! sillusionment, giving rise to the profound deep rooted despair of the Russian soul.

Subsequently, it is distinct taste of ambition that fuels both the United States and Russian in different directions. For most American?s ambition is the principle that justifies their wholehearted pursuit of the American Dream. The extent to which an individual seeks after a craved goal varies, depending on how much they yearn for it. The dangerous concept is that in pursuing "a pearl of great price" one naturally, tends to gradually drift away from, then entirely forsake the real and often simpler things of substance that hold greater value than any temporal trophy. Therefore, one?s priorities become highly distorted and the initial dream of self improvement has become as Langston Hughes notes, " A Dream Deferred" Oddly enough, in the eyes of society when people appear successful and happy, and have ?made it? they accomplished the so called American Dream. Nonetheless, the lingering desire of bigger and better still holds them captive to the virus of vaulting ambition. There remains an unquenchable thirst for more, and greater self satisfaction is hardly ever found or met. Regardless, if it is a quest to amass materialistic prestige and or social renown, or if it a quest for realization of a specific future, ambition of pursuits of this type leave a provoking dissatisfaction, which ultimately leads to the desire to satisfy that idealistic yearning.

The truth, is simple... self reliance, and a healthy understanding of the entities that hold most value, like love and family relationships, respect, tolerance and true happiness, because as Emerson stated in his essay Self Reliance, " Nothing can bring you more peace , than the triumph of principles" Ironically, in the midst of all the contradictions between Russia and America one major comparison is reveled... the need to break free and look beyond the material, social and political surface appearances and embrace the entities that unite the nations for the greater good- the convalescence and improvement factors of self, nation and world. This should not be just a national unity that the Russians hope to achieve, but a unity on a global scale. Hence, the ultimate realization of what really matters should prove to be the one source of true stability. As a result the function of all other temporary trivialities should serve to highlights man?s true nature- and as noted by Shakespeare in Much Ado About Nothing; " man is a giddy thing" and in due course, using this self realization as a catalyst to better man his environment and his world.