The American Dream…Or American Scam?
Owning an expensive house with nice vehicles in the driveway and vacationing at the summer cottage sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Anyone can achieve this if they put their mind to it, work hard and make sacrifices along the way, right? It could be that it is a dream because if everyone were living it, it would be reality.
Life in the suburbs and life in the inner city is vastly different. It’s hard for me to believe that a child who grows up in an impoverished, overcrowded area has the same opportunities as one who grows up in a stable, comfortable home. While some struggle to figure out where their next meal is coming from, others are deciding which designer purse to take to starbucks.
Have you ever compared your lifestyle with the lifestyles of others only to repeatedly come up with the short end of the stick? I’ve known people who thrive on material gain. They tend to identify themselves by what they own and how they look, rather than who they are.
From the outside looking in, they seem to have it all, but at what cost? Many are in debt up to their eyeballs and are stressed to the max. Others have been incarcerated for white-collar crimes such as tax evasion or money laundering.
I’ve read about several people who have risen above poverty. While I celebrate their successes, I wonder how newsworthy their stories would be if The American Dream really was attainable by all. A struggling couple who live in Virginia reached out to me yesterday.
They have no vehicle, no money, and no place to stay. Where do they begin? I didn’t find it appropriate to tell them that if they work hard enough, they’ll be ok. How do you get a job with no residence? How do you get a residence with no job?
How do you get to work with no money or transportation? The homeless population is growing, yet there are laws in many states prohibiting them from sitting in a public place. Even offering a homeless citizen something to eat is illegal in some states.
How do you feel when you see a person sleeping on a bench or begging for food? Apathetic? Angry? Curious? Judgmental? If you were to lose your job today and your house in 6 months, how would you be emotionally impacted? How would you hope to be treated by others?
Something to think about…