Forgive me if I tire of “The American Dream”. I know today is not a good day to articulate this, inauguration day. Feel free to click your imaginary “unlike” button in your head or move on if you need to…
Perhaps it is because patriotism brings up unbidden sentimentality, which I find myself resisting. Perhaps it is because I have seen too many for whom this “dream” is absorbed through a television screen and movie theaters which so adulterates what “America” truly is. Perhaps it is because The American Dream has become so enmeshed in consumerism that we have come to believe”stuff” can satisfy us. Perhaps it is because we are only a fragment of the Americas and we claim “America” as only ours. Perhaps it is because this American Dream has evolved into a self-protective vision of an unsustainable, indulgent future and been used to justify war after unjust war, bail out after bail out, unjust law after unjust law. Probably all of this. So please forgive me if the American Dream sits like a ball of cheese in my belly.
I think we need to dream much bigger when we dream for our country. I think we need to dream an American dream that is embraced in our dream for the world. As Pablos Casals so brilliantly expressed: why should love stop at the border? If we can do this, we might be able to create a just and loving nation.
This is the world of enough. A world of consuming less and sharing more. A world of peace through peaceful means. A world where we make willing sacrifices for those who need more than we do. A world where we honor our resources, acknowledge them as gifts, and create new ways of being responsible communities. And if we are to dream a world of prosperity, may it be that we are prosperous in love, honesty, joyful sharing, and true companionship. I know it is lofty, and it isn’t exactly mainstream, but this is my American dream.