Ah, the ability to dream. To have an ambition or image of yourself accomplishing something great. You are now the emperor of candy or the new prime minister of wherever. It doesn’t really matter what the dream was but that you had one at all. It is one of the things you are taught as a child that follows you throughout your entire life. Not only that but it always had to be bigger than the kid next to you. The bigger the dream the more motivation you build up. Or something like that. Did you dream of being an astronaut? Not big enough. Scientist? Bigger. A better actor than Channing Tatum? Well, anybody could do that but no, bigger. A gigantic man named Boris as your man servant? BIGGER! Take your dream and multiply it by the level of unemployment in this country and you’re still not there yet. We spend our lives imagining something bigger for ourselves, expecting greatness. We are all made of glory. Anything less must be banished! We’re here to make a huge difference. We are the life-alterers for the masses. Get ready world, I have been born! Nothing can stand in our way because we, as Americans, can dream. Your younger years are spent reveling in your greatness because you will become something more incredible than anyone has ever seen… or so you thought.
How much of us really try? We say that we work our asses off but is that honestly the case? To truly work yourself raw is a difficult thing to understand and most of us refuse to comprehend it. We were always taught to dream big but merely told to work hard. No matter how big, what good is the dream at all if you have no comprehension of the amount of work that goes into obtaining it?
I recently watched American Sniper and, while the movie is heart wrenching to watch, there was something depressing that happened deep down inside of me. If these men and women can sacrifice their lives to protect my ability to not only dream but also to go after that dream then why is it that I, we, cannot sacrifice some time and effort to do them justice? Why is it that we cannot live, with every fiber of our being, in honor and celebration of their lives by living every ounce of ours in service and up to the standard of the protection they offer us? We cry and whine that we don’t have more. We complain that our low level job doesn’t pay us more when we have no desire to work for the higher wage or the promotion. We, Americans, are not living up to our standard.
I do not remove myself from the collective. I have done my fair share of complaining. I am no better than anyone else and this is what hit me so hard while watching that film. I have no understanding of exactly how difficult it could be or how hard the work truly is. My life is absolutely nothing compared to the lives of the military and their families and I am ashamed of not living to their example.
It used to mean something to be American. We fought for our basic human rights to be independent and free. We live in a country that allows us the right to choose, breathe freely, scream obscenities, yell, and be heard. The military, our people, have given their blood for that… but what do we give them in return?
Our children are growing up feeling entitled to everything. They grow up expecting life to be easy and simple because we coddle them instead of pushing them. Get a degree and you will be handed a job worthy of you? No. You need to become worthy of your position. Earn your opinion. Fight back when threatened. Stand your ground and for the love of your freedom, learn to work. It is one thing to speak but an entirely different one to act and times have changed in the biggest ways. In order to achieve more you must work more and sacrifice more. Somewhere down the line, we gave up on this ideal. We chose the fast paced, impersonal way of doing things. Our children know more about the internet than what the different expressions on someone’s face mean. We tried to give them more but ended up giving them too much. Without the ability to function in a face-to-face manner, people become unidentifiable from one another. Individualism gets lost and when you do not feed the baby, the baby cries. A country full of crybabies is not worth giving your life for.
We must live. Go outside for a while and breathe, deeply. I do not apologize for being an American. I apologize to the military, people just like me, for forgetting what it means to be an American. Instead of giving out complaints, we should work harder. Instead of giving up, we should start over. Nothing is complete until you are underneath the dirt. That dream of yours is just the blueprint. It is your blueprint. Sealed up with your own personal stamp of approval on it. The bigger the better. Otherwise, we do not do them justice. We do not offer them the reward of coming home to an incredible country full of uninhibited ambition. We are here, in front of the world, ready to tackle anything and not a damn thing will stop us from doing so. I will be the emperor of overly opinionated bloggers for centuries to come because of an immortality I have gained by eating nothing but steaks and candy! See? Start with something simple, expand on it, give it reason, and do not rest until you have completed this task. My true dream is to live a more positive life with the hope that I can be even half of the human being a service member is. I do not wish to only shake their hands and thank them but to live my life in honor of their service.
I say this now, here one this page, and fear that it may fall on deaf ears. My own may even get a bit muffled so, I ask myself as well as you to, please, dream bigger and raise your standard. The men and women of the United States military go to their graves protecting us. The least we can do in return is give them one hell of a reason to do so.