I have a close childhood friend serving in the United States military, who is currently on a tour in Afghanistan. In that area of the world, as the children play in the yard in front of the house, a watchful parent stands guard with a machine gun. Here in the United States we have had peace inside our country for so long that survival isn’t a concern for us, and we are able to focus our attention on things many areas of the world are unable to consider. As a result, due to the safety we enjoy, we have a greater awareness of needs in the world, with collective talent and interest to meet all of them.
The result is possibly the most altruistic generation the world has ever seen. Also, for the first time in American History, people aren’t thinking about keeping up with the Joneses, and how to live in excess, but how to eliminate the excess, simplify, and direct resources towards doing as much good as possible instead. The timing of this paradigm shift is impeccable.
In my experience, The American Dream is not dead, but it is fading fast. As our country adopts more and more socialist ideals, trades become more specialized, which raises costs that in turn bar the way to home ownership, and locks people in to their current social class. In high school we were told that The American Dream was alive and well, and that our goals were reachable. Then we graduated and learned that [continue reading…]