Do non-Americans have "dreams?"

It seems that here in the U.S. a day can’t go by without hearing/ reading about people’s “dreams.” (Not the ones that occur during sleep. The “achieving or not achieving one’s dreams” sort of dreams.)

Is that a component of any other culture?

No.We are all an apathetic and fatalistic bunch of unfeeling automatons.

Why would non-Americans not want a better life for themselves or their families? Is this a joke?

Here is an honest to goodness question. Do Americans really not think foreigners are fully realised human beings? I’ll restrict the scope of the question to Europeans, I think we all know the answer with respect to non-Whites generally.

Maybe he’s talking about use of the term in language or in common conversation? In the US it’s common to talk about your aspirations, maybe he wants to know if it’s common in other cultures? Otherwise, I don’t get the question. I think it’s fairly safe to assume that the vast majority of people have some sort of aspirations-some more grandiose than others.

Well, yeah, it’s used. The expression is older than the English language. Those old Greek philosophers who lived in barrels and had hemlock for a last meal already used it; ancient Jews who were preparing for service at the Temple when G-d called them already used it. I expect people from other traditions I’m not familiar with used it, probably from Tierra del Fuego to Kamchatka through any landmass you care to name.

The question doesn’t just require navel-gazing, it requires zero knowledge of best-sellers which were written outside of the US such as the Bible.

This is such an odd question, I have to think it’s just inelegantly phrased and there’s something more to it than it seems on the surface…could you clarify, OP?

You’re dreaming.

Sorry, I’ll try to clarify. (Senoy was pretty close.) I am curious to know if other cultures reference their “aspirations” to the degree that we do in the U.S. I was not intending to disparage anyone. It seems to me that over the past couple decades we in the U.S. have done it to a ridiculous degree and seldom a day goes by when I don’t frequent mention of this person or that person achieving or not achieving their dreams.

I suspect he means that the idea of chasing one’s dreams has sort of been institutionalized in the American mythos and is somewhat glorified and encouraged, even among grown adults, and the OP is wondering if other countries have that same regard for it, or if chasing one’s dreams is considered juvenile, or irresponsible or something like that.

Ah… Thank you!

Well of course, according to old Hollywood, they dreamed of coming to America.

I figure OP’s asking whether other countries have something analogous to “The American Dream”. Which is more about national culture and history than an assumption that foreigners aren’t 100% human.

I think the global localised versions of shows like the X Factor are clear examples of how millenials the world over have notions of following their dreams.

Ok, in all seriousness, back when class basically ruled people’s lives in 19th Century Britain, there was certainly a case that those who did pursue their dreams, wanting to break out of the working classes, could be perceived by their own friends and family as ‘up themselves’ ’ getting above their station life’ ’ not knowing their place’.

Thankfully, this concept is pretty much old history and only surfaces, I think, amongst people paranoid that they could have done better themselves.

We do it, in context. For example I’ll never talk about my dreams (and rarely even my plans for the weekend) with quite a few of my relatives, or with my neighbors I only encounter in the lift, but I will talk about my old dreams and how they fit with my current life with teenagers who are themselves in the phase of figuring out their own calling, or with people who are curious about how I ended up doing the kind of job I do.

If you watch or read a lot of interviews, that’s a context in which “did you expect the life you currently have”, “did you get to fulfill your dreams” are questions that come often; answers such as “not in my wildest dreams!” are pretty common for the first one, for the second you’re more likely to get “heh, there sure were some serious curveballs around the way” (“as a child I dreamed of being a ballet dancer but switched to acting after watching Átame” - Penélope Cruz).

It lasted far later than the 19th century in some areas- my Dad’s owd Lancashire side of the family had that attitude. I remember my elderly Great-Aunt (born about 1910) telling me that she’d done really well at school and her teacher had suggested that she go for teacher training, but her mother said no, that wasn’t for the likes of us, did she think she was too good to work in’t mill like the rest of the family or summat? So she left school at 14 and worked in’t mill until her mother told her to retire… Pure crab bucket.

Likewise my Dad wasn’t allowed to go to the Grammar school in the ‘50s, despite passing the entrance exams, because his family were all worried he’d be ‘gettin’ above himself’. His parents concocted some flimsy excuse that it wouldn’t have been fair to his brother, had he been allowed to go when his brother wasn’t. Flimsy, because his brother didn’t care, was 10 years older, had already left school and was married with two kids by then. They were initially horrified at Dad going to university as well (and not for cost- it was fully taxpayer funded at the time) and tried really hard to talk him out of it, but they were incredibly, almost comedically proud of him when he graduated. For years, his mother would address letters and cards to him with a ‘BSc’ at the end of his name.

I think they genuinely believed that there was something innately special about ‘the upper classes’ so a common kid like my Dad couldn’t possibly keep up and trying was just setting himself up to fail. Dreams were for the special people and they weren’t special.

I’ve seen similar attitudes linked to other “sub” groups, in the sense of “considered not good enough” rather than “small”. For example, my Abuelita was part of the first class in the local School of Commerce to have female students and the gossips wagged that “who do those girls think they are!”; several of my own teachers held the same attitude almost 80 years later regarding women studying ChemE.

I’m going to have to stop being mad at Victoria Kent… I’d been mad at her because, when she defended that women shouldn’t have the right to vote, her argument was “Spanish women are mainly conservative!” rather than “oh, we should just stay at home and take care of the children.” (Her pro-female-vote opponent, Clara Campoamor, was also a woman, both chosen by men in a system which allowed women to be members of parliament but not to choose MPs - does your head hurt?)

I think their are many places with little potential for social mobility so there is that.

In some places with cradle to grave welfare, there is little need to be above anyone else so less of a desire to push yourself in school to obtain say an advanced degree or training if it only leads to a career with less to show for it.

Osama bin ladin and the rulers/leaders of Isis sure had dreams and the involved the destruction of the US.

Hitler sure had dreams and he came sorta close to seeing them come true.

Pol Pot had a dream and it did come true.

Those places tend to produce the people with the biggest dreams. The ones who will leave behind country, family… to move someplace else in search of the New-Place dream.

What places would those be? Real world ones, I mean.