The American Dream... a symbol of what this country stnds for. The right to flip your middle finger up at the world, and do whatever you want. No wonder the country is in such a shambles.
The American Character has all but ruined the American Dream. Generation after generation of people doing whatever they wanted has gotten people to believe that they have NO limitations. Of course there are limitations. These limitations mainly stem from this: you cannot infringe on other people's right to flip off the world and do whatever they want. Society has a few "ground rules" that come from this limitation. The strange thing is that no one will accept the base for what it is.
A few examples:
1) You cannot kill. Death isn't fun, and it isn't what most people want. If people wanted it, believe me, America would be selling it. Actually, quite a lot of people want it, with the tobacco, alcohol, and narcotics trade as Exhibit A.
2)You cannot rob. Stealing takes away the green stuff that the other guy has been working awfully hard to accumulate, and you should be able to TRICK that idiot out of it, anyway. Besides, stealing would be considered breaking up the government monopoly on that activity (See also, IRS).
3)You cannot steal another person's spouse or significant other. Actually, a lot of this goes on as well, considering that the average marriage's lifespan is now very similar to the life span of the average paramecium. But, what we have is slightly better than having a bunch of ogres going around, clubbing women on the head, and dragging them back to the cave. Of course, a lot of this goes on as well, in the form of rape, but that is fodder for another essay.
I apologize if I sound bitter. No, I DON'T apologize. How can I apologize when I'm not sorry? How can I be sorry if I'm not wrong, and how can I be wrong for telling the truth? It is the truth that's there for everyone to see, only we filter it out, we ignore it and go about our merry ways, living our meaningless lives without ever realizing that it's meaningless, and my God, I'm rambling, and what am I praying to God for, I'm an atheis, but everyone else is too, except that's filtered out with the rest of the truths. Sorry about that... the horror of it kept me from breathing.
But there's a way out of meaninglessness.
You can give meaning to your life, break the cycle of Me-ness, of avarice, greed, lust, envy, sloth, wrath, and gluttony, the sins that develop from not caring about the rights of others. I'm a white knight, or at least, that's what I think I am. It gives me pleasure to think that I am a compassionate person, one who can actually help people that need it. To think that I, an insignificant blob of protein, on a scummy little landmass, on a completely wretched globe of dust and moisture can ACTUALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE, at least for a few other blobs of protein, in the small time I have. I guess I sound a little Quixotic, but that's who I am, I think. Don Quixote, in his rusty armor, with his dull lance, and riding an old nag, nearly got himself killed jousting with windmills, because he was convinced that they were evil. Am I any different? Do I do good, when I oppose people whom I consider to be evil or harmful?
Who am I? I really don't know who I am, or what I want. I think I need to be good. I think that trying to save the world from itself makes me happy. I think that I am a nice person, in the end. I think... therefore I am. Therefore I am what? Descartes never quite gets around to answering that one, does he? In think that's because it changes for everyone.
Changes for everyone...
That means that everyone is different.
That means that different is good, because without the difference, there would be no individuality. Without Evil, there would be no Good- where would the standards be to judge by? Evil, is actually Good, because without Evil there would be no Good.
Without the ignoranve and apathy... there would be no white knights.
There would be no ME.
With the American Dream is the right to do what we want to, but we have to re-learn our limitations. I talked to a person who said that her philosophy was based on "No regrets. Don't look back. No regrets." Without regrets, there are no limitations, for what is there to enforce limitations within ourselves, if not regret? Can we allow the American Dream, which was once a bastion of Good in a world still recovering from a Dark Age, to continue to limp on like this, unassisted in its miser?
Will you be a paladin or a demon?
Will you choose self-service, or compassion?
Good or evil?
Do what you will... this I cannot and would not affect.
As for myself, I will continue to follow my path... and to die tilting at windmills.