Reflections on the American Dream
Stumbling Through the Net
As most days I sit at my desk and stumble through the net looking for cheap recipes and deals on clothing to update my blog. It has become a passion of mine, as a survivor of extreme poverty, to watch where the money goes and try to make it last. I've converted it to blog, and within it is synthesized childhood memories of hunger and compassion for others who are just trying to make it through another day. But this is America. This is the place where opportunity abounds and hunger is for a displaced few. Not so. We fail to recognize just how common hunger is across the nation, let alone other parts of the world. As much as we suffer, many suffer more.
How to Live Off $1 a Day
Is this possible? In some places it is, but not easily. In a website I recently stumbled upon, Womenthrive.org, the story of a woman living off $1 a day was a painful reminder of how difficult life can be for some. The woman in the story was single, but the women she spent time with had more than themselves to worry about. The thought of having to choose between needed medicine and food for your children is disheartening.
The American Dream
A question I recently answered was, "So what is the American Dream?" I went off with the usual: Job, home, car, wife (or husband) and kids; but I don't think this is exactly what most people in other parts of the world think about when they consider the American Dream. I think the American Dream to some might mean not going hungry, to have access to services that help the needy, to have one's religion and integrity protected by government policy, to not hear bombs in the street, and to not have to worry about the pains of living off $1 a day. Today I am humbled.
It's Not a Perfect Place
No, America is not perfect. Our priorities are a bit skewed and we tend to be a bit self-righteous in our arguments. We are human. We err. We are also spoiled --many of us are anyway. Some, not so much. If the privileged few were put in the place of the majority of the world for 1 day, I wonder how things might change. The point is, we should appreciate what we have. There are opportunities in America, there are rules that protect the citizens, there are programs to help the needy. There are the more fortunate who foot the bill --and we've all heard their complaints. We really need to stop complaining and try being happy. And if we aren't happy, we should be proactive in our approach to what is making us unhappy. We are a country divided, yet, we don't realize how lucky we are.
Truth is, there is no perfect place. There is no perfect government. There are no perfect people. Perfection is subjective, impossible, and utterly unattainable. We don't need it though. We really just need compassion. It's not my world, or your world, or his/her world. It's our world. Honestly, it's not even ours...it just 'is'. We should respect that.