We Are Truly Thankful – The American Dream Revisited

Posted by: Carl Medford on November 22nd, 2010

With unemployment, business failures, foreclosures and the like purportedly on the rise, you’d think doom and gloom would be permeating the San Francisco Bay Area.

You’d be wrong.

In the words of President Obama, “Hope is alive!” And with it, the American Dream.

A few years ago, while on a fact-finding mission to Africa, I visited the Kenyan city of Nakuru. The provincial capital of Kenya’s Rift Valley, Nakuru is the location of Lake Nakuru, a part of the Lake Nakuru National Park and the home of the lake’s famous inhabitants. Standing in the city of Nakuru and gazing across the lake, you see a thick band of bright pink: closer examination reveals vast numbers of flamingoes that make the shore of Lake Nakuru their home.

As fascinating as the flamingoes and other wild animals were, I wasn’t there to visit them.  From the vista point, turn 180 degrees, and you see the city garbage dump. Visiting this refuse site, I saw homeless children living in caves around the abandoned waste of their society. Shortly after, I journeyed to Kitgum in war stricken Northern Uganda. Standing in a refugee camp amidst the squalor of countless mud huts, I observed villagers waiting for hours to get their daily ration of water. You could taste the hopelessness and despair that seemed to hang in the air.

Surrounded by such suffering and poverty, I was reminded of the incredible blessings we have access to in these United States of America. Off the unparalleled opportunity surrounding us every day.

For the past many months, a dramatic drama has been enacted on bay area street. A contrast of stark proportions. Far from the woes in Africa, I’ve been driving eager first-time homebuyers from one end of the bay area to the other. I’ve lost count of the countries represented by these soon-to-be homeowners, eager to claim their piece of the American Dream. They’ve come from Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Japan, China, Taiwan, The Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Viet Nam, Nepal, Kenya, Niger, India, Pakistan, Fiji, Canada, England, France, Germany … the list goes on and on. And these are all direct immigrants – not second generation families who’ve been here a while. Some of these hopeful are here on visas; others have green cards, many are still struggling with the difficulties of the English language.

All have one thing in common: unbounded hope at their prospects of a new life in this amazing country and thanksgiving for the amazing country that affords them this opportunity.

The American Dream is alive. The dream of a peaceful and prosperous life; a life apart from the perpetual conflict that is the order of the day in many corners of the globe. The dream of, as our Founding Fathers put it, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” As stated in Wikipedia, “the opportunity for immigrants to achieve greater material prosperity than was possible in their countries of origin.”

Although we’re all from immigrant stock, I believe those who’ve been here only a short time see it most clearly. They’ve realized interest rates are at historical lows. They’ve watched housing prices plummet to the levels of affordability and they are hastening to get in line to buy. They’ve seen the large numbers of available homes. For them, this is the absolute best opportunity they’ve ever witnessed and they’re not going to miss out.

Some who’ve lived here longer have let the allure of the American Dream lapse into distant memory. Many have seen home values evaporate and retirement account balances blasted into oblivion. Some have lost homes, jobs and prospects for the immediate future.

In spite of all of this, we’re still so much better off than other places I’ve seen.

I recently watched the movie, “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl.” It’s a great family picture set in the depression era of the last century. I’d heard many stories from my father, who grew up in the Midwest during the heart of the great depression. This film breathed life into his chronicles. Present were the soup lines, hobo camps, dads going off to other cities for employment and more. It was such a poignant historical reminder that I rented it so my kids could watch, learn and remember. They gazed at the screen, intrigued by the story line. Intrigue turned to shock as I explained that the movie was based on real events from America’s not-so-distant past.

It was a reminder for me as well. Thanksgiving is close by. While many pigeonhole this event as a turkey laden feast and the beginning of the Holiday shopping season, it’s really so much more. It’s a reminder that even with all of our current woes, we’re nowhere near as far down as we’ve been. Future prospects are indeed bright. We’re on the rebound. It may take a while, but we are slowly moving upward. And even at our worst, we’re still a far better bet than many other places in the world could ever hope to be.

Hope IS alive. Prospects ARE great! And people from around the world are buying in. The American Dream … lives on.

And we are TRULY … Thankful.

Portions of this post, written by Carl Medford, first appeared in The San Leandro Times and Castro Valley Forum, 04/15/09



3 Comments on “We Are Truly Thankful – The American Dream Revisited”


This was an amazing article. It’s empowering to think of all of the blessings I and my loved ones have been given – as a second-generation member of an immigrant family, I speak with complete gratitude when I look at the opportunities I have before me. They are entirely limitless, while back in my home country, I would have been incredibly stunted.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I will definitely give thanks to all that my family and friends have been given. I will give thanks to the families that are able to purchase affordable homes, allowing them to celebrate the holidays in comfort; to the environment I have been placed in, allowing me to truly grow; to all that I have and am capable of as an American, as a woman, as a human.

It’s incredible to be able to do all of that and truly, completely mean it.


Camroad Properties

Medford Oregon Property Manager

The age old question: Is it worth it to pay the 8% management fee and have a property management companies in Medford Oregon
that you buy in Medford? Will I end up saving more or spending more? Common-place knowledge tells you that it will cost you more, but after the consideration of better screening, lower maintenance costs and reduced vacancies, they save money with a Property Manager.

Carl Medford


Thanks for the encouragement! I grew up in Canada – even though the countries are so close, they are still quite different. Having lived here since 1983, I am very grateful for all the opportunities afford our family.


Leave a Comment


For Real Estate Agents

Online Marekting Solutions

For Home Buyers and Sellers

e.g., 1250 S Main St, Burbank, CA or 91506
     Search Foreclosures    Search New Homes    Search Rentals    

Blog Categories

Blog Archives

Real Estate Blogs

Top Articles

Recent Comments

Guaranteed LeadsReferral Lead ProgramListings PackageVisits to your WebsiteFind REALTOR®Homes For SaleHome Values