Rethinking the American Dream

I’ve never been to the US; I have only seen the heavily edited version that has reached Europe from movies, music and TV. And yet, as an outsider, I think I can see things that Americans might not be able to see. 

The way I understand it, the root problem in America is your concept of “meritocracy,” of “the American dream,” and of the whole idea of being in control of your own destiny. Americans believe that if you work hard, you will be successful — moreover, that you will deserve to be so!

But, if you are willing to believe that those at the top deserve to be at the top (and deserve to be admired), you are also implicitly accepting that those at the bottom deserve to be at the bottom (and to be despised). 

In Europe, and in Catholicism, we don’t believe that we can guide our destiny. Therefore, if you fail, if you are “unfortunate,” the whole society will treat you with some kindness and support. (We have socialism).

In America, if you fail, you are not “unfortunate,” you are a “LOSER,” and you can expect only some sympathy or tenderness from society. This cruelty, I think, is what pushes people to be horrified about falling to the bottom. Obviously, the best way to not fall is to ensure that no matter what, there will always be a whole race of other people who, by design, are inferior — and will always be inferior — to you. 

Racism is evil. Fear is evil. There are people who are so scared because they fear they are losers that they are  willing to listen to a dilusional leader asking them to march over the Capitol because he made them feel they were superior by design. These people will not listen to reason: they are scared and want to be told that they are not fallen (and that they are not losers and/or trash).

America is divided and if it continues like this, it will end up imploding. As an outsider, I would invite you to ponder whether you see some value in reconsidering the whole essence of the “American dream,” the whole concept of “meritocracy.” 

You are not in control of your destiny. There are no winners and losers, only “fortunate (and/or privileged)” and “unfortunate” people. 
We don’t need to admire people at the top who are there because their ancestors were criminals. We don’t need to despise unfortunate people who lost their jobs, health insurance and who had to file for bankruptcy. We need to support them and to understand that, if that has not happened to us, is because we were/are better shielded than them because of our own privileges.

There is no need to place other groups underneath you (Latinos, blacks, homosexuals, women). As you all know, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

You are Americans and Christians. You are all in different boats but in the same storm. You have a lot of work to do, but if you go back to basics and to the Gospel message, you might be able to prevent the boat from sinking.

I may be wrong. Who knows? If you made it this far, thanks for reading. We’ll discuss in the comments. 

(EDIT: I removed the hashtag “PrayForAmerica” as it is now flooded with people praying for Trump! Just the opposite of the original intentions)

Shared on social media on the “Liberal Christians” private group on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/118919904816333/permalink/4902613119780297

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