Given the seeming instability of the market, the growing gap between rich and poor, and the repercussions of a society built on consumption and the procurement of material goods, that maybe the American Dream is changing.
It started with a nice house with a white picket fence. Then we added a 3 car garage (at first for excess stuff, then for our 3rd cars). Then we went from 1500 square feet to 3k. Then to 5k. And beyond.
It started with finding a company that would take care of you for your whole life. A relationship was formed between employee and employer. Then we added 401k's instead of pensions. Then we added outsourcing. Layoffs. 200x-300x CEO comps over the common employee. Corporate jets with golden parachutes.
It started with having a few conveniences. Then we added remote controls. Then cordless phones. Giant SUVs, bluetooth, cooling/heating/massaging seats came next. Social networks replaced real social interactions.
Where is it all leading too? I think the lucky few are rediscovering a more simple life. Condensing instead of consuming. Handshakes instead of tweets. Smaller homes with smaller utility bills, less cleaning, less clutter and more contact.
Maybe I'm just a crazy old 30-something, but I'm starting to see more value in slowing down. As I was driving to work on a beautiful 72 degree day, I noticed I was the only one with their windows down. Have we gotten so used to air-conditioning, or is it that we shun contact? I don't know.
Ok, now I'm going to go for a bike ride. A hard ride in the mud with people faster than me. I'll try in vain to keep up, feeling my lungs sear and my vision blur. Somehow through this cleansing process, the world will seem to be a bit more warm and kind, maybe a bit more human.