Many people think the American Dream is dead – but immigrants like my parents continue to escape poverty. Spoiler: it wasn’t primarily through hard work.
It’s ingrained in the national psyche that “all you need” to achieve the American Dream is to “work hard.” But there are plenty of day laborers and minimum-wage or gig workers who will never get ahead. Hard workers are not hard to come by, but hard work is not enough to succeed in America. Truth is, America has never cared that much about hard work. Why do we keep perpetuating this myth?
My parents came to this country with very little and are very comfortable now. My parents didn’t work that hard. And by that, I mean to say, they weren’t toiling in the fields, doing back-breaking labor. They weren’t working crazy hours hustling. They worked hard on a few finite items that I believe led to their ultimate success. Here are the reasons I believe they were able to escape poverty.