For the immigrant family it was to live a better life. Freedom. A chance to work and get ahead. Unbound by limits, limitations, and customs from the old country. Leaving behind parents, friends, and heritage, they traveled and became - and are becoming - Americans.
Somewhere along the way this American Dream has morphed. It’s been changed by the merchants of property and finance into home ownership, college for the children, and more wealth than your parents had. But hard times have come again, and this modified dream is not sustainable. To the immigrant’s basic needs in his new land - food, clothing, and shelter - we have added “all you can eat,” designer clothes, and 4500 square feet of a new home on several landscaped acres.
It is time for a new American Dream. A dream that is “Good Enough!” For the Earth’s sake, let us try not having it all. Not meeting every kid’s demand or every spouse’s wish.
We sometimes hear that a factor may be “necessary,” but not “sufficient” for a particular outcome. But for our mutual survival on this planet consider this: “Sufficient, (in other words, good enough) is going to be necessary.” A healthy diet - about two thousand calories - simple clothes, and comfortable affordable housing with basic utilities and available transportation. The earth continues to yield its bounty, but now it must support 7 billion human beings. The number of other species on earth is declining and many of its resources are becoming scarcer.
Let us have a new dream for America that is worthy of us in this Twenty-first Century.