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Our Forgotten Dream: Our Common Dream: Our American Dream

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Some Americans dream of living in a gated community in a house with a great winding staircase and crystal chandeliers, driving a Maserati, and having servants at the ready to cook, clean, garden and otherwise cater to every whim the dreamer has...

But obviously everyone can't have that dream. Some people don't want to be servants.

Ok, well that's true but not everyone wants that particular dream anyway. And besides, some people are willing to work hard to attain their dreams while others are lazy and content with doing less and having less. 

Yes, but on the other hand a lot of people who live that dream did not really contribute anything to society that one can rightfully say entitles them to live such a dream. 

Look, some people love cars and enjoy thinking about them and building them, learning how they work and tuning them up in a way that allows them to perform at incredible levels of perfection. Their joy, their dream, is in building Maseratis.

Yes, but what about those who have to mine the metals and harvest the rubber, those whose lives are destroyed because they live on the ground above oil deposits, those who work like slaves and are treated as if they are less than human. What kind of dream are they living? Should the American dream require that some people live hand to mouth in abject poverty so that a few dreamers can drive a Maserati?

How should society dream itself to be? What kind of society should we strive for anyway? Which dream, whose dream, is the American dream anyway? Is there a vision of a dream that every American can work towards -- a dream that we all would be willing work for that would allow us to live together in peace? What is our objective and what kind of government do we want? How should our government -- we  -- organize ourselves and administer ourselves so as to facilitate the attainment of our common dream, once we define it?

Surely the framers of our Constitution, who we now look back on and admire, had defined certain common elements that they believed would produce the kind of government that could endure and hopefully be better than the government they very much wanted to leave behind. But now, here we are... our people are protesting in the streets all across America. Apparently, we no longer all visualize a common dream that we all feel is worth striving for. The question is, is there one that all of us -- (or a great majority of us) -- would be willing to honorably strive for now? Are some of us hell bent on subjugating the rest of us, which seems to me to be a recipe for continued discontent and maybe even war, or are we as a people going to look for common ground that will allow us all to live in peace?

As for a common dream, let me suggest a place to start. There's one dream that we already agreed upon, that many of us don't even know exists, and that the rest of us seem to have forgotten.  It's called... 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

 

Mark A. Goldman is an author, financial planner and was a candidate for president of the United States in 2008 and 2012. His new book called "Starting Over" is available for download free as a pdf file at this address: (more...)
 

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