I took this picture on my honeymoon in Monte Carlo, France, back in July. My husband and I joked that we were staring at “real money”. Real money – money that would provide for several generations, affording them more than just expensive toys and comfortable living, but a lifestyle so privileged that a person could live out all of his/her dreams. Now before you get all upset, let me clarify and be real here – for some, money can be an unsurmountable barrier to achieving certain dreams – for some people. For myself, I see money as just an other barrier, but definitely not one that can’t be removed.
From my perspective, overcoming a financial barrier is no different than overcoming any other potential barrier, roadblock and/or delay. It requires dedication, creative problem solving, planning, and faith. I was pretty solid in this way of thinking, based on my own life experiences, up until recently. In the Kindle Singles Interview by David Blum, President Barack Obama shared his idea of the American Dream and the direction its headed in. A few points brought up by the President stick out in my mind:
- “… an increasing sense on the part of some that we don’t really have obligations to each other – that we just have obligations to ourselves.”
- “… government has an important role to play in providing opportunity. Not equality of results, but making sure the playing field was level for everybody.”
- “… we make sure the next generation has the skills and training they need, then all of us will succeed.”
- “Where are the new opportunities?”
I won’t bother with the “Kimye” reference that has already been discussed over and over. Its obvious that the comment was taken out of context, but I guess I can see where someone could take offense. Anyway, some time after hearing about the article, I watched the documentary, “Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream” on Netflix. In short, the documentary posed the question if there were any real opportunities for the poor. The answer to that was a big, fat, NO! I won’t spoil the documentary for anyone that hasn’t seen it, however I will say it does present some food for thought when it comes to opportunity, resources, and money. The views in the documentary compelled me to read the Obama interview for myself.
Overall, both perspectives changed my point of view, leaving me to wonder if we as a people are dreaming too big. Are our dreams unrealistic? Has the American Dream shifted into something greater or are we fooling ourselves? And what is a realistic dream?
I’m still pondering this for myself. For me, its hard to say what is realistic when it comes to dreams. Isn’t part of dreaming imagining/envisioning the greatest result ever? Based on my beliefs, your dreams being realistic isn’t the issue, its often times the dreamer’s ability to follow through. However, I would be lying if I did not admit that I now question the opportunities available to me. Not just as an American, but as a person.
Consider this post to be continued.