Let’s end the year on a positive note, shall we?
First, the bad news; too many people of all ages believe America’s best days are behind us. Candidly, that may be true, but let’s not claim that we aren’t still the most privileged nation in the history of the world.
According to a new study, the American Dream is dead for more than half of the nation, in particular those under the age of 30. They will not make more than their parents, they will not have as many opportunities to travel and explore the world, and they’ll be likely to own their own home.
For the record, this study is absolute garbage and misses the point entirely.
The American Dream is not dead, the American spirit is. The desire and understanding of what it takes to achieve the American Dream is dead. It all can be resuscitated but we are certainly on life support. But let’s not blame America, let’s blame the true culprit; Americans, and their entitled, ignorant and arrogant attitudes.
Don’t get me wrong; income inequality is real and there is in, fact, a greater divide between the haves and have nots than ever before in our history. While that may be a reality, it is also a very convenient excuse for the lazy. If you don’t like your situation, work to change it. When that doesn’t work, work harder.
And let’s establish a couple of truths, shall we? First and foremost, who in the hell ever said (other than the media) that the American Dream is being rich? (which is what this stupid study basically alludes to). The American Dream is about becoming who and what you want. For those who dream of owning a modest home with a white picket fence while living paycheck to paycheck and enjoying their family, how dare we judge them? If that’s what people strive for, good for them, and let’s encourage them. We don’t all need to drive Mercedes and live in gated communities.
Secondly, we have lost sight of the semantics of the debate; the American Dream is exactly that; a dream. America does not and never has guaranteed results, it simply guarantees access and opportunity. There are no guarantees, simply the ability to seek your desired results. Those opportunities come with an unwritten contract and understanding that you will work your ass off and play by the rules while working towards whatever your goal is, and if you do, you’ll be rewarded handsomely.
I am living the American Dream, but how many people would suggest that they want their child to grow up and be a radio host? Not many. Too bad for them, since I do what I love every morning and, it just so happens, I am handsomely rewarded for it (which happens to be part of my American Dream because I am a very materialistic person who craves money and power). I, however, am nowhere near any better than my friend who always wanted to be nothing more than a firefighter and a father. He’s a little older than me, and now he lives in a modest home with his wife and two sons and is a Captain of his local force. He makes 25% what I do and wants for nothing and I couldn’t be happier. If you asked him, he’d tell you he’s living the American Dream.
So as we head into 2017, let’s try, yet again, to grow up America. We can do this. YOU can do this, but only if you’re willing (which is where many of us have our doubts). Just stop blaming the country for your shortcomings.