I started reading a new book that I've really been enjoying called Transformational Architecture by Ron Martoia. So far it has been really good. Basically he is setting out to recapture the narrative of God's story and replace the abbreviated version we often live by.

But one of the analogies he uses is that of a gerbil wheel and how the American Dream is always spinning and at work as the background narrative in our lives. He builds a simple, but profound description of how we are always chasing it, but it is never fully reached and is never able to give what it promises. It is interesting to note that despite your religious background, gender, socioeconomic status - we are all affected by it. And like a gerbil on a wheel, we all stand the chance to look back on our life and realize we ran hard but got nowhere. Here's how Ron says it,

The universality of this dream is precisely what makes it so difficult to identify as a motivator of human life. The American Dream is quiet but powerful, an enormous daily motivator and yet hidden from our eyes because its presence is so obvious and accepted as the "way things are."
It took me back to this post, 'Inconvenienced by Convenience' and my struggle to align my life goals with something greater than the American Dream of having and consuming. I'm working hard to be more conscious of what I let define my success and who I seek approval from - but it is a hard thing to get out from under this American Dream. I want the narrative of my life to be written by the hand of God and His faithfulness, not patched together by being someone I'm not in a culture that is so often empty.



Heather Nicole said...

I think about this every morning when I walk through the parking lot towards my huge corporate office building and see all the girls with gucci purses and men in suits and ties. They all race across the parking lot wobbleing in high heels to get into the building, and for what? Is a company that sells copiers their idea of the american dream? it mine? its not. But yet every day its a rat race to get into the building. Its just corporate America not the American Dream.

Is the American Dream even obtainable? Will we ever live that out? I'm mean thats why they call it a Dream right...

Kevin Davis said...

I think that is the point - it isn't attainable, but without realizing it, it is a pervasive motivator of our daily activities. Without realizing it we are all running the gerbil wheel getting nowhere.