Behind the Young and the Restless Essay

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Every culture around the world has their own version of success. During the 20th century, the Americans defined success as what we currently refer to as the ‘American Dream’: it included a house with a lush green yard, picket fence, 9 to 5 job, a car, and a family that ate dinner together and followed Christian rules. The hippie movement in the 1970’s interrupted this dream, and so did the rise of rock and roll in the 80’s as young adults started to follow dreams and passions instead of the future their parents had charted out for them. It took years for other countries to break out of the shell their social status had put them into. Even though the young adults in China struggle with different socio-economic situations than Americans, they share similar dreams. Chinese and American young adults desire a comfortable living situation that is financially stable, love and support, a moral society, and the ability to follow certain passions and dreams. Tiffany Gale, a recent graduate of Brigham Young University in Russian studies believes that the American Dream is still in effect today. She says her dream “is to be financially stable enough to do all the things I want to do, like buy a boat, go on vacation, and support my family comfortably (Gale).” Similarly in China, Wei Zhanyan desired financial freedom from her parents. She stated that poverty made her depressed and ashamed, and so she left her family to work and support herself 100 miles away. She liked the freedom and independence that came with it, and was able to develop hobbies like reading books and keeping a journal (Williams). Some people work to serve those who cannot afford a comfortable life. Zhang Yao, a Chinese medical resident, deals with turning away sick patients that cannot afford health care on a daily basis. He desires to change this and provide basic health care for the whole system

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