American Dream Full of Hats

Magdalena Majetná

Wealth. Money. Fame. These are some of the things that are being promised by the American dream. If only you are determined, hard-working and brave enough. But is that really true? Are the hard work, courage and focus the only things that can bring you to your American dream? And isn’t it just a wishful thinking?

I had an opportunity to ask a few questions to someone who had already achieved this imaginary dream.

​Hello Mr. Strakovský, could you please introduce yourself and tell us which kind of job has brought you to the top of American society?

​Hello. My name is Petr Strakovský. I come from the Czech Republic but I moved to United States because I wanted to find a better job and higher income. Truly, I wanted to find out what it’s like, to build the American dream with my own hands. My work beginnings were relatively easy. I have already started my own business in the Czech Republic and my company, which makes hats, was already well-known in the world. Despite all of this, I had to spend most of my time working and promoting my company.

Do you enjoy your job?

​I really love my job. I’m always happy when I see my customers satisfied and wearing our hats proudly. And also, it’s my business. No one is breathing down my neck, nobody tells me what I can’t or have to do. In addition, I have enough money and time for my family. I am very happy about this because it wasn’t always like that.

Is it possible to combine hard work, career growth and high commitment with family life?

​If I look back in time, I would say that it’s not. I don’t want to say that I didn’t have time for my family at all but I spent most time working and not paying enough attention to my loved ones. Honestly, I’m glad I have enough time for both work and my family now. Simply, I don’t have to compromise no longer as I had to in the past.

Many people consider you a person who is living his American dream. What do you think the American dreams is?

​You know, a lot of people are still chasing ideals. Well paid work, high social status, having the most beautiful wife in the area. Maybe it looks like it’s easy for me to say this, from the point of view of someone who is happy in life and who has all those things. But I don’t think these things are guaranteed to make you happy. They can make you happy, but it’s just for a while. A lot of wealthy people will tell you that there can be pain, sadness and emptiness hidden behind those piles of money. I think that one can find true joy in themselves, in their loved ones, and maybe even in the enviroment around them. These are some of the true values. If a person is not satisfied with themselves, and puts unnecessarily high demands on themselves, they will probably never be happy. Neither money, fame, nor the fictional American dream that everyone pursues, will bring them happiness.

So, you’re saying the American dream doesn’t exist?

​In the same sense in which it is talked about, probably not. The exaggerated desire for popularity and wealth has never done anyone any good. I think that if we put aside all the fame and money and look around us, at our lives, at our families, could it be, that we will find that each of us is already experiencing a small American dream?

Wonderful thought. Thank you for taking time out of your day and talking with me. I wish you a lot of success in both your work and personal life. And many fulfilled dreams.

​Thank you. It was my pleasure.