Friday, May 31, 2013

What Happened to the American Dream?

You know that saying, you have to write about what you know.  I am very particular about what I post on my Italian American Girl site as you can tell.  I don't write and post just to have anything up here, I am truthful about what I write because I feel the authenticity is what makes this site successful.  I often ask myself about life, 'do other people go through what I am going through?'  We often compare ourselves to others when we are faced with challenges in our lives.  I have been blessed my whole life in many ways and when we work hard, have no time, have family obligations, dealing with other problems, etc. things can  become overwhelming at times.  

In many posts in the past, I always say 'family is everything.'  I believe this is true, who else is there for you or will hand you the truth when you need it? Yes, your family.  So, when I say I am blessed I know I am, regardless of all the challenges.  More recently, my family and I have been faced with having to figure out how to move forward financially with my parents as they are aging.  Thank God, they are both of health and mind, but financially things are becoming increasingly hard as they're both retired.  My father came to this country over 50 years ago and worked two to three jobs, he never stopped.  Granted we were not millionaires and we most definitely lived a modest life, they still do.  After raising four children, my mother went off to work as well, she was not shy of hard work and definitely brought home her half of the bacon.   I grew up in a household where working hard and having a good work ethic were major influences and requirements.  Nothing wrong with that.  Buy your own car, buy your own house, take pride in your hard work -- do and BE the American dream.  

Fast forward to today and now we're working harder than ever, taxes are rising, seniors are living on less than fixed incomes as I know first hand from handling many financial elements for my parents.  My father came to this country when they were telling him back in Calabria that if you come to America, you're set for life -- you have to work hard, but you will be able to retire and your kids will have a better life than in Italy.  He did it, he bought and sold many homes, he never complained, he paid his taxes, he gave to whoever needed help, he gave other people jobs, and now they're faced with how to keep their home, pay debt back, and just live.  Look, this isn't a political piece I'm writing here, I'm talking about the facts, the actions, the history of the American dream, which prompts me to ask, 'What happened to the American dream?'

I am American, I love my country, but I want my parents American Dream supported and not pulled out from under their feet. I'm a child of immigrant parents, they worked hard, I work hard -- Can we get the dream back?  
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