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the american dream ain’t what it seems

March 14, 2011

 

I just got done reading an interesting article from Psychology Today entitled, “The American Nightmare”.  It goes through the checklists many Americans try to attain in order to live a life of perceived happiness- The American Dream.  It hits home to me and it might just hit home to you as well.  It was broken up into four small sections: Marriage, Kids, Suburbs, and Expectation Change.  I thought it would an interesting article to interact with because this is a struggle most Americans find themselves in every day.  And the results of the struggle don’t always lead to the highly touted happiness.

I have a dream…

There is a path that is to be followed if we want to be deemed healthy/successful/wealthy/valuable.  I fight it within myself.  I want a nicer car.  I want a house that I can call my own.  I want two kids. I want a perfect marriage.  I want a huge retirement fund so I don’t have to worry and I want to take two vacations each year to somewhere exotic and warm.  I want.  Why?  Because with smoke and mirrors and credit cards its all possible.

There is a prescribed way of living that we hold up as the standard of good.  We have taken good things and twisted them into something they’re not.  Instead of a spouse being a constant companion they now need to be chiseled, funny, outgoing, loving, never predictable, lover.  Instead of a home as a medium of safety and community, its a status symbol and mark of success.    It’s like we have taken side items and made them into the main entree.  I’m sorry, but green beans will never pass as a main dish.  Yet, why am I so tempted to ask for them anyway?

Somewhere down the line we have bought into the lie that living is about attaining.  If the acquiring and collecting of people and things becomes the main goal, we will never be happy.  Those things don’t fill the void within us all and were never meant to anyway.  Maybe we should stop forcing a square peg into a round hole.

 

 

Next Post-  the american dream ain’t what it seems: marriage

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