Monday, October 29, 2012

The Dream Behind Our Reality


 All of us humans dream and we focus our efforts in attempts to make our dream a reality. Once accomplished, our dream becomes our reality.  Said differently, our dream is the reality where we have hitched our heart and mind to.

Here in the US, most Americans opine and pontificate about the American dream – a life of bountiful opportunities available and taken, of material successes acquired as a result, of satisfaction and contentment, and maybe even peace, enjoyed as its fruits.

Many of us immigrants also migrate to the US with the profound intention of getting our share of the American dream, which typically may not have been possible in the old homelands we came from.  Once acquired, the ensuing reality is doubly enjoyable and valuable.  More penetratingly felt and treasured when compared with the others.

But dreams conceived and sought after are not static; they change as time passes, as personal conditions change or as perceptions change.  As new experiences are gathered and assessed, dreams take on new colors or  perceptions could morph.  At times it could engender frustration and depression.  Thus many could wonder what went wrong, where they erred or whether the dream acquired is as it was conceived and pursued.

Especially true with first generation immigrants who came to the US as adults, laden with the entire emotional luggage acquired from their left-behind lives.  So that as they grow older and able to nurse more free time to think about the rest of their lives, they begin to think differently and start assessing how and where their waning lives could be better spent.  They do have the option not enjoyed by most natives of the US.  They usually could go back to the old homeland and try to resume their old lives, bringing with them scarce resources acquired in the adopted country, resources which could garner more mileage and value in the old country.

And many do commit themselves to doing such a thing, to pursue the alternative hoping to better their retirement lives.

So that in  our own family circles, we count members who have started their exodus, winding down whatever business and concern that need to be addressed and plan for that big leap back to more familiar surroundings.

For this group then, the current reality becomes the nightmare that will have to be remedied and replaced with a somewhat recycled dream that involves retracing old steps and old haunts that had initially produced the dream that resulted in migration.

But for their children, unhindered by emotional luggage coming into the adopted country, the reality continues to be the dream they had envisioned and pursued.  They are at home with their current surroundings, almost oblivious to the option that their older parents may have always had in the back of their minds in all the years that they spent in the adopted country. The new generations then are almost unable to perceive living elsewhere as an available option.

In summary, the American dream may be viewed differently even within the same family.  For the children of the original immigrants it will continue to be the dream of their reality.  But for their surviving parents the reality they left behind to pursue their dream may now be the dream they would like to pursue.

Eagerly hoping that that dream becomes their reality soonest.

We each pursue the dream that will be the reality following it.