BY SHARON MARTIN
Depending on the family into which you are born, you may be assured good schools, trust funds, and a chance. You could be born addicted to your mothers’ drugs. You might have a loving family or a dysfunctional one. You may grow up to be loved or abused.
Some of us start with a full pack, everything we need for the journey of life, and some of us are born without even an empty knapsack.
Those who believe in the American Dream may tell you that none of that matters. It’s all about being a risk taker. It’s about hard work.
Yes, it is those things. It surely means being able to recognize an opportunity. And it means having the kind of personality that lets one get up after failure to take another risk.
Seems like a simple formula. But there’s more to it than just hard work and courage. Education helps. And one must have access to opportunities.
Alas, in a society that fully embraces survival of the fittest, there are those who have a vested interest in seeing to it that all the chances are reserved for their own offspring, their own kind.
I don’t know if the human race is ultimately better off by eliminating what some perceive as weak links. Morally, however, the idea is repugnant. Just leave the fallen on the trail for the wolves? There will be more for the rest of us?
Perhaps the American Dream is a myth. Sometimes it looks that way. There is opportunity for some, but not for all. Maybe this is the America you want. If so, continue to listen to the garbage about cutting spending for every program except the military. We can call our president names because people are hungry. We can blame the poor for being poor and exalt the rich for being crafty enough to grab all the resources.
If this isn’t your idea of a great nation, then we must invest in our citizens, their health, their education, and their welfare. We have to look to the long term. And we have to believe that every single one of us is worth educating and that we are all worth saving when times are tough.
What kind of country do you want America to be?
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer