Time to reassess our American Dreams

I know quite a few people on both the left and the right who feel that we as Americans have sold our soul to the devil.

That’s not my biggest concern.

What bothers me the most about it is that we sold out so damn cheaply. We’re a lot like Jack, who sold the cow for a bag of magic beans. Except that when we tried to plant them in hopes of growing a beanstalk, they turned out to be Skittles.

Essentially, we sold our ideals for what people used to call the “good life.” Big houses, fast cars and HD television sets were all we wanted, as long as we could take an occasional trip to Dollyworld or Epcot Center.

Our kids are the fattest in the world; our adults probably the least well-read. And let’s face it. Even though political candidates always say American workers are the best in the world, it really isn’t true. A lot of people work harder than we do.

Our problem is we believe the hype. We’re suckers for compliments. We love ourselves a little too much. We care more about what our country can do for us than what we can do for each other.

As Paul Simon (the singer, not the former senator) once wrote, “We can’t be forever blessed.” There comes a point in time when we have to regain our pioneer spirit. We need to worry less about what’s in our garage and more about what’s in our heads.

We’ve lived too well for too long, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change.

After all, we are Americans.