In 1931, freelance writer James Truslow Adams developed the concept of the “American Dream”. It was built on the idea that every person, regardless of their race, creed, financial status or nationality, would have the opportunity to live a “richer, fuller life” and manifest their wildest dreams, no matter how outlandish. America was positioned to be the Promise Land; the place where dreams come true.
This was certainly an honorable dream worth fostering. However, over time, the dream morphed into something more soul-less and self-serving. The quest for an egalitarian society where everyone’s dreams are possible has been replaced with an insatiable quest for more money, fame and immortality.
Generations later, Americans (and many other societies) are realizing that they’ve spent their whole life chasing money, trying to stop time, conforming to the status quo and collecting achievements. But none of it has brought them the fulfillment or happiness they were seeking.
Technology has provided us with the ability to be more connected with humanity, but thus far, that technology remains largely focused on the pursuit of money, power, self-indulgence and achievements. Businesses and governments thrive on selfishness, excess and fear. It’s so pervasive that most of us fail to even notice it anymore.
But I believe we still crave, and ultimately need true human connection. If we strip away the fear and create an environment of love, I believe we will see humans become human again. Ultimately, we have to get back to a place where human connection and relationship trumps the desire for hording money, time and achievements.
The American Dream is continually in a state of self-destruction. I believe we can foster a more altruistic and egalitarian dream for all of humanity. Something we can collectively work towards, support each other and hold each other accountable to.
This is the beginning of a manifesto. One I intend to expound upon and proliferate. It’s not a completed work, just the beginning.
It’s what I want to contribute to. It’s not an idea. It’s not a set of rules, laws or a code. It’s something I believe in. It describes the way in which I am committed to living. Nothing more, and nothing less.
THE EXTRAORDINARY DREAM
We dream of an egalitarian society, centered on love, fostering peace.
A society free from the clutches of fear or habit of judgment, where relationship and human connection trump time, achievement, comfort and money, no matter the circumstances.
Our thoughts and choices manifest our reality. A change in our perception can open our eyes to miracles.
We live our life and our works as art. Everything we do, we do with care. We cannot fail, because there is no end.
Humanity and the earth are one. Our actions are forever interconnected. Each of us is a collective of the souls that have touched ours.
Our purpose is to exemplify and proliferate unconditional love in all we do.
I long for an egalitarian society that values relationship over all else. Yes, it’s idealistic, but I’ve come to embrace that perspective. We live in a world where the impossible is very often proven possible. I don’t believe it’s probable, but I do believe it’s possible. And that’s how it starts.
What is the alternative to pursuing this dream? Do nothing? Do worse? Do what you’ve always done, expecting something different? What do you have to lose if you try? You’ll likely lose your status quo membership, but that was boring anyway.
What aspect of your life will you deem to be more important than pursuing this dream? It all sounds like a good idea, but its easy to label this thinking as idealistic. And that makes it even easier to opt of doing anything truly extraordinary.
I’m not starting a movement or asking anyone to follow me. That sounds fun but it’s not my point.
If you want to bring this dream into fruition, just live it. Right now, wherever you are, every second of every day. It’s a lifestyle, not a project. Anything less won’t work.
Fortunately, every changing second presents the opportunity to start again even better than before. Every second is a new opportunity to create and live your Extraordinary Dream. Godspeed.