All of my life I was raised to believe that the American Dream, and the idea of Success, were one in the same. I was taught that the definition of the American Dream was to work hard, get a good job, buy a house, marry a good woman, raise a family, and save enough money and/or property so that I could leave something for my kids. Essentially the American Dream was sold to me as ‘the pursuit of happiness’. I think this, or something similar, is what most of us were raised to believe.
But sitting here as a man who has now lost his home to foreclosure, has been laid off from his job, and faced the possibility of losing my wife to illness several years ago, I find myself reassessing the American Dream and it’s implications for the future of this country.
After long contemplation it has occurred to me that the reason we are facing a Government in America determined to destroy our Liberties is because for far too long, generations of Americans have been more concerned with the ‘pursuit of happiness’ than they were with defending their Liberties. Far too many generations have been taught that if you own a home, have a job, or have a little money in the bank that you are Free. What a terrible and tragic lie that is, since modern times have proven to us that there exists a large number of individuals who are happy in bondage as long as their cage, provided to them by their rulers, is a comfortable one.
We can no longer afford to teach the next generation of Americans that the ‘pursuit of happiness’ is the American Dream, that happiness equals Liberty. If we continue to do so, the only thing we will accomplish is to hasten them into the bonds of tyranny. Because without the eternal vigilance for and a complete understanding of Liberty, future generations will lack the knowledge and tools which are needed in order to sustain an America where the ‘pursuit of happiness’ is even possible.
That is why we must readjust our thinking and begin to teach not only our children, but ourselves, about Liberty and the costs of preserving it. We must grow to understand that those who came before us did not guarantee our Liberties by pursing a good job or buying a home and burying their heads in the sand while pursuing happiness, but instead by, as the HBO version of John Adams said:
Our forefathers have earned and bought liberties for us at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasures, and their blood.
Until we change our way of thinking about the American Dream, our chances of preserving Liberty are non-existent. Because contrary to popular belief, it is not just the soldier on the battlefield who must pay the price for defending Liberty. We all must be willing to sacrifice everything so that in the future, a Successful American Dream is no longer measured by our happiness, but is instead measured by the amount of Liberty we leave the next generation.
For I would rather live a pauper’s life of misery in the pursuit of Liberty, than stand by pursuing personal happiness and wealth while others are busy forging chains of slavery for my children.
Liberty or Death, it is not just a motto, it’s a way of life. Better we voluntarily learn this lesson now, than wait so that our children are forced to learn this lesson under the bondage of tyranny.