25.5.11

"The American Nightmare"


Alright, so I found a few extra hours off today and couldn't resist sharing this article, "The American Nightmare".  The article, from Psychology Today, examines the rising rates of depression within the United States and the way in which the unrealistically high expectations of The American Dream set the culture up for disappointment.

A Canadian myself, I had never really considered The American Dream as something that applied to me.  Having read the article, however, I can see many parallels between that sense of entitlement and expectation and my own goals in life.  While I'd like to say that my own perspectives are just positive thinking, that would probably being erring on the side of naivet√©.

The article breaks down the parts of The American Dream and the ways in which its components encourage us to engage in self-defeating behavior.  For example, it discussed how the choice to move to the suburbs (for a larger house and a sense of community) ultimately made residents more miserable through the commute and the suburban sprawl.  The article also addressed Americans' attitudes towards child-rearing, work, and marriage.  "The American Nightmare" contextualized its findings by comparing them to conditions in Europe, which made for an interesting comparison.

At four pages long it was a digestible read and the language was accessible enough for anyone to understand.  Read it!

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