It is hard to ignore the changes that are going on in our world. We may want to pretend there is a way to get back to the good ol’ days, but there isn’t. And were the days before this really any better? Time moves forward and things change. The illusion of “having it all right now” has dropped its mask. The “the American Dream” needs to be reassessed and altered.
This is a good thing.
Sure, I’m not happy that investments are down and the price of our house prevents us from getting more space…but we are blessed with investments and blessed with a house. I do wonder about my kids, what they will do and what they will have…but I am more concerned with how I can help them become the people God created them to be and if they will be happy and economically comfortable.
The American Dream of getting more than we have now, of having more than our parents, of making something of ourselves (power/economic), was based on people. How can we get ahead, what can we have, what can I do. A whole lot of “we” and “I”, and not a lot of God.
What is the new American Dream? Or rather, what was the original American Dream? From my history research into those who immigrated here in the 1600’s and early 1700’s, it had a lot more to do with self-determination and self-realization than wealth. Those men and women risked everything, including their lives and their children’s lives, to cross the ocean and make a life in the wilderness (comparative to Europe). Some were drawn by adventure, others by need, and many by their determination to be able to live and believe as they saw fit. Even once they got here, the determination did not end. The traditional pictures of the Puritans only goes so far, when town after town was founded by the same people in order to realize political, economic and religious freedom for the men and women in their midst.
To have more and make more has taken us down the wrong road, a road that the Biblical Prophets spoke of regularly. Let us begin to reshape and rewrite the American Dream. Let us focus on God’s hope for us to realize who we have been created to be – and created to bring peace and justice to as many as possible.
This is my American Dream: To help create a society in which all people are able to become their full potential – to become who God created them to be – without economic, social, biological, religious and political oppression.
Gracious God, help us get out of your way. Amen.
(Note: I fully believe that it is only ourselves who can “make us” into what we can be. Others may help guide, but it is our own personal self working with God, who can accomplish this.)