Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The American Dream

Is the American Dream gone? Are our "Golden Years" a thing of the past? What has happened to our country? Our lives? The belief of One Nation Under God? I think this may be a question many middle aged Americans are now asking themselves. And the younger generation as well. They will be left to pay for the Sins of the Fathers. And the mistakes years in the making.

My husband, Mr. Mike, has been a pharmacist for 38 years. He worked in retail for over 25. A trying job to say the least. Those of you/us who have worked in retail over the years know the challenges faced making certain the customer is always right. And a pharmacist's goal is to make sure the patients that come to them are safe. But after so many years a new opportunity came about and he was able to go into mail order pharmacy. It was a wonderful job. Good for him. Good for the marriage and good for the family as a whole. And we were blessed for him to have that job for the past 10 years. A couple or so years ago companies merged, the old way was out and a new improved way was in. And the writing, although faint, started appearing on the wall. Things changed and it was not the same anymore. Many things changed. And we waited.
The wait is now over and on June 27 of next month the facility he has worked for for the past 10 years will shut it's doors forever here in Texas. Why? For so long there was plenty of work, plenty of overtime......what happened to that plenty? But the writing was on the wall. Easily readable by now. Our "golden years" are looking a bit tarnished now and the American Dream we had achieved by working hard for all of these years is turning into a nightmare at our age. Mike will loose his job for the first time since he was a paper boy next month. He is 61. Prospects are not good. Because age does matter. And because the D/FW area in which we live is saturated with pharmacists (and pharmacy schools here in Texas) jobs are not readily available. The future is unclear. The Golden Years will have to wait. We will see if they have gone the way of the American Dream.

We have lived carefully over the years with very few "splurges". But when we did splurge we made certain we had the money to do so. And we have tried to pay cash for everything except our housing. We have tried to manage our money fairly well and have had everything we needed and most of what we have wanted. And the taxes that have been paid in over the years, which amount to a great deal of our income, have not been managed well. I have always thought of the government as a type of money manager for our tax money. And they would have been fired years ago for the disgrace in which they have squandered all of our hard earned tax dollars. For the choices they have made and for the situation we now find our country in as a whole. There are so many, so very many who need jobs. Hundreds have stopped looking. They have given up. And now we are faced with no job, no prospects, no insurance. I never, ever thought this would happen to us. My heart broke for sweet friends who found themselves in the same situation we now find ourselves. Why now? This is not supposed to be happening.......but it is. For so many of us. And no single person or politician can clean up the mess that has been decades in the making. Do people not realize you cannot spend money you don't have? And the fact that money is still being spent that is not there has affected the entire country. And many jobs. Ours included. 

The Golden Years are more than likely a thing of the past for us. But, we did achieve The American Dream. We truly did. And to our children and the children that come after I encourage you to see that positive changes are made in our country. That programs are cut, scrapped, eliminated. That programs be overhauled so that they truly do help those in need. See that the elderly and the young are taken care of. Strive to see America recover the ability to offer The American Dream once again and make it available to every single person who is willing to work hard to achieve that dream. 

And so our future is in the hands of the One who created us and knew our future before our birth. And we will wait. And trust.

There's a story... an old Celtic legend, about a bird that sings just once in its life. From the moment it leaves its nest, it searches for a thorn tree... and never rests until it's found one. And then it sings... more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. And singing, it impales itself on the longest, sharpest thorn. But, as it dies, it rises above its own agony, to out-sing the lark and the nightingale. The thorn bird pays its life for just one song, but the whole world stills to listen, and God in his heaven smiles. The best is accomplished at the cost of the greatest pain, so says the legend.

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