Call me unpatriotic, but whenever I hear people prating about the "American Dream," it sets my teeth on edge. The thing about dreams, see, is that they're imaginary. A figment of your imagination.
So you have a dream. Good for you.
I had a dream, too. When I was 12. I was going to be a major league pitcher. Over the ensuing years, however, it became gradually apparent that the fastball that wowed them in Little League might not carry me to World Series stardom.
To me, that's one of the big lessons of sports: realism. How good you are, how good you're not. How to deal with it.
It's when people bring unfettered illusions into the economic and political realm, however, that the trouble starts. One such example is a provocative essay in the May issue of The Atlantic by Neal Gabler.