Americans put consumption above community

Jesselyn Rego, Staff Reporter

The cliché of “The American Dream” used for almost a century comes from the book, “The Epic of America,” written by James Truslow Adams in 1932 during the Great Depression.

“The dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability for achievement,” Adams wrote.

What does The American Dream mean to us today? Do we have our feet planted or are our heads in the clouds?

The American Dream has turned into something very different. It is now about what is wanted instead of what is needed.

Today we dream of Botox, vitamin B shots, breast implants, penis enlargements, Viagra and brand name everything.

Today’s children have an obesity problem, fed out of a box or from a takeout menu. They are being brought up by television, video games and cellphones.

The relationships that hold families together are quickly diminishing. Breakfast and dinner table conversation has been replaced with routine check-ins on social networking sites.

Adams clearly stated that it is not a dream of cars and high wages, but the dream of a social order where all men and all woman shall be able to achieve anything they are capable of and be recognized by others for what they are.

It seems direction has been lost and what is truly important has been forgotten.

It’s not about being equal anymore; it’s about who has the most and the best.

It is definitely time for us to come together again. Look up from the phone, tablet, or television to smile and have a conversation.

Put the menu down, gather in the kitchen, and create something together.

Try to remember there are children starving, dying and missing out on an education that could save their lives.

As Americans we have been given the tools to be great, to be better, richer and fuller.

We should use the opportunity and our abilities to achieve something more.

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