Remember the tale of the unfortunate frog? Stick him in a pan of warm water and turn up the heat slowly… he’ll just sit there until he boils to death. Conversely, toss him in hot water and he’ll jump out immediately. What does that say about how life has changed in America over the past few decades?
How a society cares for its children speaks volumes. What happened in America over the past few decades? We’re failing in that department, at least so says a 2013 report released by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. They describe disturbing trends: Child poverty has risen 5% to 22% in 10 years (and it’s up to 38% for black children, 34% for Hispanic); 22% of our children now live in families with “insufficient money and other resources for food;” a full 46% of kids endure inadequate, crowded or financially burdensome housing – that’s almost half!
What happened to the American Dream? Things were supposed to keep getting better for our children, remember? But today, over half of Americans believe that life was better in America four decades ago. Some of us were kids then and we know it: life isn’t better now!
George Carlin once raved about the American Dream - that you had to be asleep to believe it. By that measure, millions of Americans have been sleepwalking! Sure, we believed in the Dream, that the pursuit of happiness could deliver on its promises. Didn’t happen.
Psychologist Carl Jung said, “Who looks outside dreams, who looks inside, awakens.” What a novel concept, when applied to a reconsideration of the American Dream. Just to state the obvious, as Carlin did, it’s a dream! Why try to make it work or create a better one? How about waking up?
That’s what we talk about in our new book, Awakening from the American Dream. The simple message is, “wake up and be happy!” That’s also the title of the e-book we wrote; download it here for free.
Wake up and be happy.
Could it be that simple? Well, it is simple, but it’s not easy. If it were easy we’d all be awake and happy. The problem? Our programming. Most of it was installed before we were seven years old. Our parents may have done the best they could but they were operating out of their programming, which came from their parents, who got it from theirs. We are all walking ancestors!
Waking up to enjoy a better life requires changing that limiting programming. Some of it may have made sense a hundred years ago, but today? There’s a story about that – a young girl is helping her mother in the kitchen. She asks, “Why do you cut both ends off the ham before you bake it?” Mother thought for a moment and replied, “Well, my mother always did that.”
They asked grandma and she said that her mother did it. Great grandma was still alive and when they asked her she said, “Because the pan was too small!”
How many of our programs are like that? They worked once, but not any more. Change them by challenging them. Question everything, especially your own beliefs. “Why do I do that? Why do I think that?” Find out if how your beliefs and behaviors arise from conscious choices or unconscious programming.
We are smarter than frogs. We can jump before we boil! We can wake up from the dream of getting happiness by chasing it, to embrace the happiness that resides within us. It’s right here, now! You know it and I know it. We all know it… in theory. Now’s the time to make it real… at least for the sake of our children.