It’s possible that the United States is no longer the only country based on an idea. I’m honestly not sure if that is still the case.
But whether or not it is the only country based on an idea, it is the gravity of these ideas that matters. The ideas of liberty, of equality of opportunity, of pursuit of your individual happiness. The idea of a republic, neither a monarchy based on chance of birth, nor a democracy based solely on mob rule. The idea of a nation of laws, where private property is respected.
The brilliance of our country’s structure and process is that it is flexible yet the scaffolding remains. As such, over time, much has changed to these original, founding ideas. We welcome many of these changes and are alarmed by a few of them, too. Such is the nature of the times in which we live.
This blog is not a place to bring up politics because it wouldn’t be any fun, and frankly, politics are amply covered elsewhere. Our views on subjects may be transparent at times, but remember, it may not be the entire picture of who we are as people.
Mostly we pretty much “live and let live” as to other people’s ideas of their own happiness and we afford them privacy. I know we don’t give a whit about who you love or why. Frankly, we’re just happy you aren’t alone, if you don’t want to be.
The idea that we are somehow the outliers by being able to retire earlier than most, and that the American Dream is closer to a nightmare for most – again, we don’t think this is the whole picture of the landscape out there. We see ourselves as fairly mainstream at this point and we expect to meet many who would similarly describe themselves as such.
Choices were made at times when the choices made a difference. Luck played a part, too (it always does). And how we were raised and our backgrounds definitely made a difference, too. Does it help to stay in school and be educated? Does it help if your parents stay married over time? Does it help if you can keep your job for decades? Yes, yes and yes.
We make no apologies for the sacrifices that were made and continue to be made. For the choices we have made and that others before us made that affected our outcomes. And as to luck? Well . . . there’s not much to be said about this. Perhaps luck does favor the prepared. We are both fairly optimistic sorts who expect life to be pretty decent most of the time. But we aren’t naive or stupid and we know shitty stuff happens to most of us at times. Believe me, we’ve had our share.
Perhaps over time as we reveal more about ourselves in our adventures a fuller picture will emerge about who we are – not just lucky sods who are living the new “American Dream” unavailable to anyone else, but real people with real lives.
Just like you.