I have always seen the American Dream as a type of money machine. We work to pay for family, houses and cars, or vacations, and yet think less on our daily quality of life. When younger, I had a hard time looking up to society, even today this struggle is present. I wonder at our senators, our world leaders, at you, at me and question our ability to be pro-human, to love humanity. Instead, our culture often thrives on the backs of others.
Personally, I have never wanted the cul-de-sac house, or the mini mansion, or the cutting edge career. I always wanted to be around people who cared for one another and were innovative, and talked about processes. I’ve often wanted nothing of the American Dream, nothing from society and all the mainstream glory. I did want to find my position as a citizen and with an American though, and often questioned how to be a part of the broader system, without sacrificing for example too much time away from my family. Or, how to be a participant in a society that focuses on community instead of the net worth and production of individuals.
I wanted nothing, but wanted to give everything. I wanted to share in the American Dream by making the dream more about social and economic justice, rather than material possessions, or narrow minded ideals. This is a cultural change that doesn’t come from an impossible utopia, but rather movements of change inside a vast number of individuals.
Today, it’s more the regular happy balance that becomes the civilized. Accepting the known sacrifices of having a career are a part of attaining the lifestyle we want for our families. Sooner or later, during this process and in the relationship with social structures, we all stand at a crossroad pondering our social relationship with others, our personal relationship with the world, and our connection to our nation’s ideals and actions. We ask if we belong, if we want to, if we want to crate change, if we are content. We often have to carve out our lifestyles in relation to broader expectations.
Accepting the difference between my ideal lifestyle and what I can build for myself within society means accepting other people’s customs as well as my own. Redefining the American Dream with emphasis placed on integration and social support rather than consumer based lifestyle and always needed more to be successful is an example of paradigm changers, game changers that we need. Not only does this take the focus off performance based living, but promotes quality of living. Quality living is the goal, and it doesn’t have to be an economical change. It is an individual change that through perspective, focus on cohesion with the acceptance of others builds a stronger community.
It’s exciting to give respect to everyone because everyone deserves it. They are human. It’s the only humane thing to do. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you have done, how you view others, or what your future will hold. It is about having a deeper love and reverence for life. If we change the attitudes of our hearts, in our families, social environments naturally follow suite.
My responsibility to society as a participate of urban culture increases in a forceful wave of gratitude and desire to give, to do something for someone. And so we do these things, all of us when we feel them, and we have all been doing this since the beginning of time. Yet, woman are still socially gender oppressed, racial discrimination and unjustly incriminating innocent people, the endless corruption in our government, endless corruption of capital greed. We are still in barbaric times. We treat one another poorly. How does change happen, how does it sweep through a nation. Each individual changes on their own. How does one person make a difference. That one person changes. That one voice becomes a flood, a rush of wind, turning social dynamics. Things change. The times change.
I want everything from society now. I look up to everyone. I still take time to disappear and roam free and then come back to love the struggle in my daily routine. I want to see our nation fight for the purposes we all believe, equality, advocating for one another, looking out for each other’s well-being, supporting the people. To think innovatively, like never before in each our own units, making a difference by who we are with others.
People do make the changes that impact the larger connection between us all. The little people are not little, and all the little voices are in a very loud and new conversation about social dynamics and cultural awareness demanding more, as we should. Everyone deserves more. The more we verbalize our values and take bigger risks to contribute to a progressive culture and a nation we believe then we can be proud.