Sunday, October 24, 2010

Religion and the American Dream

I know many people don't like to bring up religion, BUT, building on my previous post let me talk briefly about Religion, God's Will, and the American Dream. I think it has to be brought up.

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."            - Preamble to the U.S. Constitution

The American Dream was once equated with certain principles like freedom, liberty, safety, justice, equality, and happiness. Today, it is often equated with things – like prosperity, material comforts, home ownership, higher wages, or career success. My question is - What do we want the American Dream to really be?  Can we [Americans] reach a general consensus on the direction we want our country to take and what our highest priorities ought to be as we head further into the 21 century? Will we be fearful of the future, or will our American Dream be a positive, hope filled vision of the future for America? 

The American Dream

James Truslow Adams (1878-1949) was an American writer and historian. He coined the term "American Dream" in his 1931 book The Epic of America. His American Dream was "That dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position."  - See

I believe to achieve the American Dream, we must put God and His Will first and everything else is secondary. When we have our hearts centered upon what is really important from a universal perspective, our real individual purposes and plans begin to function correctly, as our personal perspectives and lives begin to line up with God's Will.

God has a plan for the world and we are a part of the plan and ought to be striving to help the plan become a reality.  To get in line with the plan, we need to follow God's Will - as individuals and as a country.

Definition: Will - Something expected, desired, or required of you, i.e. action, thought.

Now let's try to get down to specifics. What should we be doing? What actions and thoughts should we have or be doing to be in line with God's Will? He wants us to seek wisdom, knowledge, insight, understanding, and then we are to pursue righteousness and do 'good' in this world carrying out God's great commandments to:  'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind' and to 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'  -  Matthew 22:37-39

Read the detailed article about "God's Will and the American Dream" available online. It lays out specifics on what it means to do God's Will. What we need to be doing and not doing in our personal and professional lives.

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