The American Dream is, in itself, a form of betterment. We want to rise up, take claim, be the best and more. We want to pull thereignsand blaze forward. We want to have status symbols and be status symbols. Everyone wants more than they have. That's the way it is.
But why is that the way it is?
I started running with my roommate recently, because I'm restless and weightconscious, and I figured this would help at least one of those issues. Running, I can see myself--future Kyle--standing out there looking good and suave, being successful all the time, justbecausehe's me. It's vague, but it's good. I know it's what I want.
This isn't why I run, though, just because my imagination tells me to. I don't want to run. It makes me sore. It makes me tired--and I still don't sleep well. I worry more about what I eat, because I don't want to undo any of this work. I don't enjoy eating. So then, why am I still running?
Well, it's YOUR fault.
It's my fault, too. It's our fault. It all falls to the great "We." We care and we judge. We chose what is success, what is good and how to measure that. We, us, the group, the collective, society, We're the arbiters of what the American Dream is, even if it's a perversion of what actually makes people happy. It's all just projection.
I'm starting to fall under the impression that the people who just don't care are the ones doing it right. They're eating and sleeping and gaining weight and do they care? Hell, no, they don't care. They're loving it. We hear people say that they can't lose weight because they "just love food too much" and We scoff, but why? That's a huge thing for a person to spend his life doing what he wants, and these people want to eat. And why shouldn't they?
They already think they're perfect.
I don't think I'm perfect. I think my teeth are going to fall out. I think my stomach's going to extend. I'm twenty-years-old and I try to never slouch, because I'm still worried about getting scoliosis. I can't be perfect if these things happen. I know this, because We know this. And I have to be perfect. I have to be that kind of perfect, that American Dream perfection. It doesn't matter if I'm in pain, and that it would be more fun just to slide into a slow oblivion. That would be the wrong thing to do, right? Right.
We've been sucked into this one uniform idea of success, health and long life, and it's all hard work all the time to achieve this. It isn't getting better. Life is just getting worse with every step in the right direction that We make. The thick and slovenly are off doing as they please, while We're spending our time running in circles praying that We don't end up as big and happy as they are.
And We're not really getting better.
Well, look at it this way: Loving food, means enjoying well prepared balanced yet tasty food. Food that can be appreciated by its quality and flavor and not by its amount of fat and calories it has. A funny thing happens when you begin to appreciate food like that, food that is crappy a.k.a fatty and fast, begins to taste bad, your body rejects it and suddenly you begin to lose weight and feel better because you are giving your body something it is worth eating, and without much effort. Also, eating like this will help you live longer and enjoys more meals :P That doesn't mean that you cannot enjoy a piece of chocolate cake or pizza once in a while, you can eat anything, you just have to be smart and moderate about it.
Definitely agree that it's a dual party problem, but democrats lean towards the hand outs (nanny state) far more than republicans (self accountability). And don't fall for the guns and such, just look at our national expenditures and you'll see that social security alone is more than what we spend on defense (even in war time). Add in other social services such as unemployment (for years now, again...), medicare/medicade, and those alone are more than 3x of what we spend on defense. That's not even factoring in the new ObamaCare for everyone.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fy2010_spending_by_category.jpgBTW - I lean more towards libertarian than Dem/Repub.
@Vaivod Yeah, I wish I could stop caring so much, and I really don't have a reason to care--I'm just a neurotic mess most of the time! :P And, yup! Crazy is just one in my collection of just a few personas--though it is my favorite :D @valadrez I agree is your first part completely, and that there is no guarantee that pursuing happiness will actually bring you your happiness. That's true. I'm not so sure about the Democrats ruining the country, though--not to say that they don't have their part in it. But the gun-nut patriot Republicans have just as much blame at our state as anyone--It's a team effort! :P
I'm sure you've heard 'happiness is a state of mind', and the saying 'when life gives you lemons, make lemonade'. That's reality. Success & happiness are going to be different for each individual, and in reality we shouldn't look to anyone but the man in the mirror to determine what both of those mean. We make our own decisions, course our own path, and choose whether we will be happy or not as our decisions bear fruit whether good or bad. In the end, happiness is yours to claim, or yours to deny. On the topic of the American Dream, that's something completely different. It's 'Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness', not the guarantee of happiness, which is something that's been lost on the last generation or two. Instead of learning to do for oneself, many have learned to game the system in order to eek out an existence that requires little to no effort, and sadly the government (primarily Democrats) have enabled it which has weighted down our economy, ballooned our deficit, and presented the greatest threat to national security since the founding of this country.
What an hour to get deep, but never mind. I'll give you my two cents. It's certainly true that society has a definition for "perfection" and "happiness". And the mass like it and they follow those canon as if there was no ability to think on their own. I used to care for what people thought about me. Nowadays, when I'm 21 years old, I don't give a damn about it. I do what I do, because that's what I want. I don't care if people think I'm a weirdo or a tomboy. That's what I am, so I just go with the classy: Get over it! :P And I've recently started to do jogging, just because I want to be able to swim like a fish without being disturbed by the low resistance of my body or the asthma. PS: That was actually a nice read. I didn't know this side of you. I'm glad to know you're not as insane as I thought you were :P
Thanks for the responses guys! :D @Bad_Gamers83 You mean the country? That's not really what this is about. I hope you can clarify :) @Soothsayer42 Yes it is. I walk all the time and never break a sweat :cool: @aerobie I know, it's a bit strange. But thanks, and I'm sure I will! @sirkibble2 I think that's very true. Happiness is so suggestive, and I think the problem here is that it's not as suggestive as it should be. Everyone's telling us what makes us happy and that isn't fair. It isn't fair to ourselves, to them or to anyone.
You're definitely on to something. There are a lot of people out there who are discontent. And there is a difference between being discontent and doing things for healthy reasons. If I'm working out to make someone else happy, then it's the wrong reason. If I want to work out for my own success and health because I may see danger ahead, then yes, my success, my American Dream is seeing this through.
Thanks for sharing. The feeling that comes through in this leaves me at pains to find the right response. May you find detachment and contentment, on your own terms.