The United States of America is the land of delusion, and take that as one guy’s opinion. There have been many noteworthy events and people from this country, but what’s often left in the background are the millions of average nobodies that aren’t recognized for doodley-squat. As we watch Hollywood, Wall Street, and Washington we see all that glitters is gold and the “might” of a handful of people achieving fame and fortune to insane levels. I’m sure many Americans get jealous of their celebrity status.
What if I told you they didn’t single-handedly do anything to achieve that? What if I told you that there are teams of nobodies poised to make them as great as they are? I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but why doesn’t it sink in? It’s the truth. The President of this country can’t do a blasted thing without his aides. The same goes for all Federal-level political figures. They’ve got faceless staffers to get them where they need to go, write their speeches, and coordinate their lives. Why is this lone-figure icon of Americans still touted as if it were real? It isn’t.
To be anywhere important, you will need the help of many and not just for “moral support.” You will also need to step on people to get close to the summit of the power pyramid. It’s the way power works. It’s not like there’s Power Cake and everyone gets a slice. No, there’s very little Power Cake and you have to steal it from some powerful people. They’re not going to like it! I can honestly say that I have no Power Cake. If I was supposed to, who’s eating it? That’s the way societies work: there will be a small number of people doing their best to hold on to as much as they can. I’ve not seen or heard of any nation that doesn’t have that happen in one form or another.
Back in the Eighties and Nineties, we were told as the youth of America to go to school and get a college education because we didn’t want to end up flipping burgers at McDonald’s for the rest of our lives. What a gigantic practical joke it was in 2009 when fast food and other food service jobs were the only jobs available. I spent thousands of dollars to put myself through college to bus dishes and be a grill jockey? Yeah, I’m not laughing. Even at that I had to take a local university over a more prestigious middle-tier school because I couldn’t afford the tuition.
What I really needed was a social coach to train me in how to deal with others. It’s no secret that people with connections get better jobs and status. All this talk of intellect being the key is just that, talk. I’m smart. There I said it without trying to scrub it with modesty. I’m, at the very least, above-average in intelligence. With the way America presented itself, you’d think I’d be Scrooge McDuck in a vault-like domicile. No. Why? Lack of pre-existing money and affluence. I wasn’t born into money. I had a wickedly difficult time making connections, learning to be outgoing, or rubbing elbows with influential people. I didn’t have those opportunities.
…but that was the plan for millions of Americans all along, wasn’t it? It’s to present the idea of wild success in such a way that makes Las Vegas envious. It completely ignores the country as a whole or what cooperation is needed to make the talent shine. Without the regular people, we wouldn’t have a nation at all.
Let’s put it this way: the reason you hear about rags-to-riches stories is they seldom happen. It’s the opposite of airline news. You don’t hear about the millions of people crashing and burning with the epilogue of buying a cottage in Averageville. My point is it’s not the end of the world if that happens. That doesn’t mean you won’t do great things. It doesn’t mean you have to hate your life. It simply means that you’ve broken the addiction sold to us by the powers that be.
“Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.”
Yeah… I’d like to see you survive in space, pumpkin.
Hurray, I’m average and it’s not the end of the world! So where does that leave the American Dream?
I think the American dream isn’t defined as well as it should be anymore. It’s no longer a house with a white picket fence. People are realising maybe that’s not what they truly want. My recommendation would be to figure out what the dream means to you and see if it’s realistic.
I just want to be a housewife, have cable, and go out to eat several times a week. And lose 10 lbs. THAT’S the new American Dream. Lose weight.
Isn’t it better to be very important to a few people who are also important to you than marginally important to millions whom you have never met?
I think there’s room for interpretation. Just through life thus far, I find it useful to feel valuable to yourself first. The amount of others would seem to be a matter of taste.
I think there is a fine balance. I grew up an abused kid who was ushered into foster care. Then I was adopted by single mother, who lived close to check to check. It wasn’t an easy life. I couldn’t even go to a University because she refused to fill out her financial info. I went to a junior college while I worked. I worked my way up to being the #1 rep of a billion dollar company. I had to drop out of school because I couldn’t work and go to school. I made more money than I would have if I graduated. I married a engineer who provides nicely for our family and allows me to stay at home.
That said, I understand that I’m the exception to the rule. I’m a go getter and (as conceded as this sounds) I’ve learned social skills over time. I think that is they key. I have a family member that has her doctorate but no one wants to work with her because she is miserable to be around. She is a know it all and condescending.
That said, I don’t think this is the case with you. All I have to go off of is your blog, but you seem to have a pretty good grasp on what people find interesting. So what happens to people in your group? They get lost.
I don’t know how many people I know who are hard workers but can’t get a job or a promotion. They are educated, smart, and outgoing. It’s tough out there and we set up our children for unrealistic view of what’s going to happen. I tell my kids all the time, “Remember, just because you have this now doesn’t mean you should expect this when you’re gown.” Hoping to change their expectations.
I think the American dream now is not to live check to check. Sorry for the Blogomment.
I know it could have been worse. I never had the pleasure of a free or reduced lunch, government cheese, or food stamps but there was plenty of fancy footwork done to keep the household together. Cars were sold for the money, others borrowed from relatives to function, loans out to pay repair bills, family fights, little spending money, staycations out the yang, etc. I can remember my mother borrowing what money I could scrape together from chores and using it to buy groceries. I knew I’d never see that money again. I also can’t stand the smell of ramen noodles or macaroni and cheese anymore because that’s what I could pick up during my unemployment. That and those cheap burritos you can get a the grocery store.
It seems hard to know the preferences of others at times. This is something I’ve gone through my entire life. Now, I wouldn’t consider myself a “people pleaser,” but it helps to find common ground with others. Often it feels like being out-of-step in a parade. What I often end up doing is my own thing, in my own world, and sometimes people show up. Anything else doesn’t stick as well.
That’s how I am too. In my 20s I had to make everyone happy. Now I am me. You accept me or you don’t. You’re loss because I’m fun.
I had a superbowl party, and I don’t watch football. I had Hindus, Christians, Mormons, and people I didn’t know their religion. I had hispanic, caucasian, and indian, and mutts like me. Why? Because I don’t care. I like people for who they are. I’m glad you’re in a place where you don’t care about pleasing. 🙂