Like a schoolgirl, I can rattle off what I've heard, been taught, and seen.
I envision what the Grant Wood, "American Gothic" painting implied -- having money enough for a home, food, clothes, toys, private or public schooling, medical emergencies, insurance, cleaning help, and recreations --vacations, including a car.
Is this dream an inheritance from the previous century -- the most important thing in life is having enough money for the good life? Maybe, but that's never been my dream.
When I was writing about a woman who, like me, was dressed in her mother's dreams, I named the book "SOMEBODY--Woman of the Century."
Being somebody -- that was the fire in my life, in the life of lots of people I know.
I read "How to Restore the American Dream," an article by Fareed Zakaria, an Editor-at-large of Time Magazine. It was packed with figures -- billions, millions, percentages, median incomes, wages, profits, losses -- big numbers, big issues that relate to money-money-money.
And movies, TV, the Internet -- everywhere we look -- store windows, signs, ads tell us MONEY IS IT.
I think it's a wrong vision, a bound-to-fail dream.
I say YOU GOT TO DO. Dreaming is DOING -- an action. Hey, it's an Aristotelian concept -- teaching, cooking, sewing, writing, painting, gardening, hunting, cleaning, inventing, engineering -- add to this anything you like to do. "Action" usually involves bodily movement. Philosophers argue about this, but in-active doings -- studying, learning, listening, thinking -- are actions.
Let the wise men discuss and diagnose the world's economic problems and translate them into solutions. If you fog out and blot out and ignore the money-money aspects of what's on your mind, you may find, in your thoughts, a dream, a focus that will inspire you to DO something.
If your dream sounds or seems ridiculous -- impractical, silly, too big, too trivial -- just hold on tight -- it'll probably build into something you can maybe, possibly, sooner or later, try to do.
Just the possibility is beyond money, more than the gleaming house -- it is gold in your mind that you own.