The American Dream is dead; the classical version anyway. The relic passed down to us by our grandparents is a focus on working hard, staying close to home, having four kids, two cars, a mortgage and then dying after a safe life full of whatever. It’s kind of a cookie-cutter way to spend a life. A waste. Like Ludacris said, “Why tiptoe through life to arrive safely at death?”
The idea that undergirds the American Dream is a good one: every citizen has an equal chance to be successful and prosperous through the inherent powers in each of us for hard work and determination. That idea still remains in us, but it has been revised for a world ruined by our 19th century ancestors.
Our great-grandparents, grandparents and even our parents are leaving us with a bunch of archaic, bloated systems and a planet raped by industry. The Old American Dream would have us slaving away every dream and ambition to build that cookie-cutter life I mentioned before. We’d be building skyscrapers and leveling forests and poisoning the oceans. But we don’t want that anymore. We don’t want any of that. We’re sick of war on every continent and we don’t want to have to worry about getting trafficked into sex slavery. We don’t want age-old stereotypes and poisonous prejudice. We see the pain in the world, have the power to fix it, and are starting to realize it.
We’re 23-years-old, angry Generation Y (millennials) people with debt, practical knowledge, dreams, woes, regrets, strengths and weaknesses. We’re the most well-rounded, confident people the world has ever seen. We grew up equal parts outdoors playing in the dirt with friends and indoors playing with LEGO bricks, watching “Sesame Street” and “Dragon Ball Z.” We know how to change tires and how to do our own taxes. We know how to build fires and how to fish. We enjoy the beach, but also like to sit inside and be vegetables. We appreciate the simple life; laughs with friends and good food. But we also like going out on the town, getting crunk and turning up. The point is that we have immeasurable power. All we have to do is use it.
We can see the problems and have the balls to fix them. Let’s destroy our coal power plants and replace them with solar, hydro, wind and geothermal power. Let’s use those plastic-eating mealworms to clean our landfills and all the miles of trash in the Pacific Ocean. Let’s destroy our corrupt political system and create one that keeps money out of elections. Let’s hold people accountable for their actions and create a world of respectful, conscious and caring humans. At the end of the day, all we have is Earth and each other. It’s time we started waking up.