The American dream promised the hope of home, transportation, employment, health, and, most of all, a prosperous future. However, the American divide promises the fear of failure, where one American is pitted against another in an arena of hate, distrust, and blind bigotry.
How have the politics and culture of the United States of America come to this point? And what can we do to heal this divide and restore the hope of the American dream?
The problem with dreams is that once you wake up from them, rarely can they be resumed. But another dream can take its place. What is our course of action to start a new American dream?
I will keep this simple, and likely overly so.
The American divide is created by closed minds and closed hearts. We fail to see the needs of one another, and allow ourselves to be played by others for another’s gain. This is not an “oh my god, the corporations are evil” rant, however. It is a simple fact that our competitive spirit can be turned against ourselves. What once worked can fail, and what once failed can work.
The American divide can be healed by reopening our minds to one another, and a renewed compassion for each other. As a people, we are able to create the space for compassion, to create greater happiness and prosperity beyond mere subsistence. We need not live in a world where one person’s gain is another’s loss.
The American dream is something that speaks to the motto of our country: e pluribus unum, “out of many, one.” To heal the American divide we must recognize the innate humanity of all humanity. The beauty of this country was born from conflict. To ignore our past atrocities allows us to live in ignorant bliss. And to ignore our great accomplishments bogs us down in extreme pessimism. Ignorance and pessimism are our breaking points. They are our time of trial.
Every conflict is an opportunity to demonstrate one’s worth. This is what the American divide offers us now. Rebuke the hatred that threatens cheap thrills. Rebuke the fear that provokes narrow minds. Rebuke the temptation that these emotions falsely offer, for these things offer us nearsighted pleasure at the expense of long-term prosperity.
Solutions are often simple, but hard to enact. To heal not only the American divide, but also international divide, we must have a new American dream. And that dream must recognize that we are all the same, and yet all unique. Until we can embrace this dichotomy, we are doomed to divide ourselves. Together we can be strong, but when we become divided we become weak. We are greater together than we are apart. And the individual strength that we cultivate in each and every American magnifies our collective greatness.
Do not fear a new American dream. If there is anything that we do greatly, it is venturing forth into the unknown and making a new future by our own hands, willpower, and strength of character.