There is a critical flaw deeply embedded in the American Dream, as most Americans dream it. It has to do with how each of us are trained to see others. My parents made efforts to resist, and so gave me as much of an advantage as they could, but the influence is wide and strong. This flawed outlook is also in direct opposition to sustainability. It is the main problem with all of our good intentions and positive plans when it comes to sustainability.
That deadly flaw is a trained lack of contentment.I’m not talking about a European sense of impotency (I know, I know. Such insensitivity.) or an entitled sense of apathy. I am talking about a bread of ambition mixed with arrogance that strives toward selfish consumption. If I am content it means that when I look at another I don’t see them with either selfish envy or boastful pride. Instead I celebrate the other person for who they are at the same time that I strive to improve myself. This is what it is to be content. This is something that we here in the U.S.A have little of. We are schooled to see others as stones or burrs.
All of the common calls toward sustainability must first and foremost be calls to contentment even while we continue to strive for improvement and a better tomorrow.