The Power of the American Dream
Yesterday was a historic day, not just for Americans but for those around the world who woefully believed that the American Dream was fading into the land of myth, into the mists of Avalon. Being the daughter of an immigrant and of mixed cultural heritage yesterdays outcome is especially meaningful.
My father is from Guyana, South America, and came to this country on a student visa and with $23 in his pocket. Being black and immigrating to this country at a time of increasing racial tension did not daunt him from wanting to participate in the American Dream of equal opportunity and limitless possibilities. After being here only a short while, he met and married my mother, an American of German-Irish-Dutch descent.
My parents married at a time in our history when inter-racial marriage was still illegal in some states. I grew up listening to the debates over inter-racial marriage on the television. It seemed like they would end every show with someone saying, “What about the children?” “What about the children,” the final lament of those who were, and are, fearful of change.
In spite of the cultural misgivings about race and equality, the dream of racial, gender, and sex equality never died in my home or in us. I grew up believing in the infinite possibilities of what this country and what life has to offer. I grew up knowing that love is the most powerful force on earth. I grew up knowing this, not because of what I was told, but by the example of the two people who raised me. Being raised in integrity has always been a source of secret pride in my heart.
My parents are happily married to this day, and I feel that on a very personal level, their quite courage, integrity and love of the American Dream helped to plant the seeds for a man of color to succeed to the White House. But this letter is not about one man or one family, this letter is about the power and awesomeness the human heart and mind. All people known and unknown throughout our collective human history who quietly live on principle, on truth, and on love, widen our hearts, deepen our consciousness, and connect us all to the Soul of the Universe: just by being themselves. Who are these quite sages that uplift and inspire change? They are you and me.
Your mindfulness lesson for this week is to be true to yourself, live your truth mindfully and with integrity, and please don’t forget to breathe.