Growing in Debt to Live the American Dream

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USA! USA! USA! This is the land of opportunity. You can have whatever you want because this is the land of freedom. Everyone is entitled to the big house with two kids, and a dog. That is what America is all about. We are supposed to have the best by any means necessary. This is what we are taught living in the United States You are supposed to work hard to buy all of your desires. Growing up in America, we do not realize how much life is glamorized by the material things. From commercials to magazines, everything is centered on how material things will make us happy.

As we began to approach the holidays, I cannot help but to think about how many people are stressed over buying Christmas gifts. As a nation, we have deprived ourselves of what being happy truly means. Instead, we believe that material things can be a substitute to any of our problems.

Growing up, I will never forget how much I dreamed of a lavish life. I use to always say that I was made to be rich. I thought this was my divine destiny. I did not know how I was going to become rich.  However, I knew that it was supposed to happen. As I started to believe this, my happiness became wrapped in material things. The more I consumed, the happier I was. I remember when I received my first full week paycheck at the age of 15. The first thing I bought was  a LYNX bus pass for the month, then I went to the mall. My philosophy was Earn more, Spend More. I felt that I was only 15 and had  my whole life to start saving.

Unfortunately, this same mentality carried over with me to my adult life. As I entered my sophomore year of college, I begin working at a gas station. Because I had stable income, I was able to apply for credit cards. I knew that in order to receive anything in this country, you had to have good credit. I knew that having credit cards and paying them off on time could help with that. However, I still had the mindset that I should have it all. Again, it was my divine destiny to have whatever I want. I started swiping and using my credit cards more than I was using cash. There was even a point to where I was maxing out my credit cards, and maxing out my debit card as well. This was a result of me living beyond my means.

This story is far too common in American society.  Many people are trying to live the “Good Life”, causing them to fall into a financial crisis. Attempting to live the American Dream is a story that is repeated over again. Why can we not be happy with what we have? As hard as it may be, we have to face the reality on this issue. No matter how many Jordans we may buy, or how many trips we may take, we are still miserable until we deal with the deep-rooted issues inside of us.

The American Dream is a fantasy world. It was built to make all believe that life itself cannot make us happy. It is not natural to glorify man-made items, because they can come and go. We must know who we are within ourselves, and have that confidence to back it up. We must also learn to remain humble. Life can do a 360 and take everything away from us. We must realize that there are more important things in life such as the relationships we have with our friends, family members, and significant others. We cannot allow society to tell us what to do to remain happy.


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