Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Is There Life After The American Dream?

Have you ever overworked so you could go on vacation? How about this, ever wanted kids of your own to raise but now you find them being raised by others? If you could take a large cut in pay to do a job you loved, a job that mattered, would you do it?

In my Mission Statement I said the American Dream is a let down. It is the never-ending pursuit of more stuff, pursuing things we think will make us happy but don’t. Why is it so hard for us to buy a smaller house that doesn’t stress our budget? Is a 300 hp car really necessary? These are the things that make us a slave to our jobs. They keep us from our families and keep us from having real friendships. Remember when you were a kid and you told your friends everything? What happened to real friends? Most people I know have no time for real friends, or they won’t take the risk.

"He is no fool who gives that which he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
Jim Elliot. Shadow of the Almighty

This quote is an inspiration to me. Simplicity seems like it could be such a huge step toward a meaningful life. I am not saying to sell everything you own. I am saying give up the things that you cannot keep, the things that really don’t matter for the things you can't loose. Give up money for friendships, fast cars and big houses for time home from work. It has to be worth it; I am convinced that it must be. We are always trying to ‘get ahead’ but once we do, we find ourselves behind again. We have to stop getting ahead and start living.

I want you to know I am not just writing this stuff. I believe this stuff. See I am the person mentioned above with the 300 hp car. I have a 2005 Subaru WRX STi, it is a $40,000 car and can do 0 – 60 in 4.6 sec stock. I bought it a year ago and am now trying to get ride of it. I want to get my bills down to a manageable level so I can work at a job that means something to me even if they cannot pay me as much as my current job. To live life with risks you have to sacrifice some things that you love. I would rather sacrifice my car and my important job then sacrifice my friends and family and ultimately my life. After all, who on their deathbed wishes they could have spent more time at work?


N said...

You are absolutely right about everything (are you sure you're only 23 and not older?!)- friendships are defenitely not the same nowadays; it used to be this silent agreement "I've got your back and you've got mine", but it's not like that anymore. I guess that's why people won't take the risk of making real friends- to avoid disappointment.

The Cure said...

I think all realationships will require pain, but i think it is a risk you have to take. To many people ahve decided it isn't worth it. The way I see it, it is all we have.

Heather Rules said...

The only risk in life is the lack there of. A moment crept upon me with such veracity it could have single handily changed my life. It was an off day, one in which I had a small amount of time to watch the television and I stumbled upon an old man lying on his death bed.
Old man (to younger man): "Do you know what I would do if I were your age..... Everything."

Simply that man placed life into perspective. Every passing moment that is not lived to the fullest is, in my opinion, an absence of risk. Risk everything; financial stability, secure relationships, future plans/goals and especially the superficial splendors people refer to as material items. I say risk it all and live for right now. Because what the hell else are you going to do?

Thanks for the comment in my post :0)

blueskelton said...

American Nightmare more like it.

Admiral_Hale said...

I agree with your philospohy, but i think the term "American Dream" oringinally meant, and usually means to succeed in a way that meets the common definition of success. Now this includes material well being, but it also accomodates being happilt married and raising children. Why not start a new "American Dream" perhaps your american dream is to succeed in cultivating peace and harmony within youself,

woo hoo hoo

Aimee said...

It's awesome to see that someone holds the worldly things that the level it deserves. Material things aren't worth anything in the long run, and i agree with n about the friends thing. When you've been disapointed so many times you just don't want to try any more. This applies to everything, and unfortunately it's become part of our culture.

A. R. said...

Disappointment is a result of unmet expectations. You expect a friend to meet a certain need in your life, and when they don't meet that need or they meet it in a way you weren't expecting, you feel cheated. Now, is it really your friend's fault that you were hurt? In many cases it's not. Sure, you will get hurt; you will probably get hurt many times. I think you'll also find that the more you open yourself up without the fear of rejection, even when rejection happens, you'll find your life to be more rewarding. You also need to realize that you are not responsible for how other people treat you: you are only responsible for how you treat other people.

Some simple rules to live by:
1. Don't hurt others when you've been hurt.
2. Smile when you're happy.
3. Cry when you're sad.
4. Smile when others are happy.
5. Cry when others are sad.
6. Help other people deal with their pain.

moofruot said...

You are an enlightened soul. Most people can't break out of their paradigm. I find myself frustrated every day trying to act like a normal person, but only end up sick with myself at the end of the day for this deceit. I have real friends, and I aspire for a job that makes me happy, but I feel the need to run away from this place, maybe 'cos I've convinced myself that I'm never going to be happy here.

I dunno, I feel like I'm going to be searching for a place my entire life where the people actually care about each other, and material possession is a distant second-place when defining "successful"... but maybe that place only lives inside me and within my own little world, and it's me who has to make others see it and want to live it. Maybe it can be done...

Anonymous said...

Couldn't help but notice that you claim to not want money but you want people to give you donations?

Whats that about?

The Cure said...

Why is it that anonymous posters always ask the loaded questions? So a few questions for the anon. Did you bother to read the site? If your answer is Yes, keep reading it until you get the point. Money is necessary to live. Lots of money is not necessary to live. I want to be able to have a job that will support my future family but not sacrifice my family and life for it. I want to live for more then my Job. I want to be able to live off of less, that is why I am trying to get ride of my car. If someone wants to donate money to me and help me toward that Goal then go for it. If someone like you cannot understand that, then go back to your job and leave us dreamers alone. Just because you have given up doesn't mean I have to.

Sara said...

The thing I find disgusting is that when someone works at a job they love and makes modest money and drives a modest car and lives in a modest home and tries to live a simple life, they are called "unambitious".

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