Whenever I'm in one of its in-between spaces, I feel the fragility of the American ideal. The ideal, not the cynicism, is why we came here. The America of the middle is worth hanging on to with everything we've got.
Because of the sudden death of a friend a few months ago, I've spent quite a bit of time thinking about what really matters to me in life, as well as how I spend the hours in every one of my days. At my age, in this time, what is my place in this troubling world?
Stories like mine are becoming more and more unusual in America in 2012. Sixty five percent of Americans who are born into the lowest income quintile (like I was) spend their entire lives in one of the two lowest income quintiles.
If we spend our borrowed time here on earth striving for upward mobility or trinkets of success and abundance, then we have missed the boat. Chasing money is a surefire path to loneliness, depression and emptiness.
As a nation, we face incredible challenges right now. People are struggling to find jobs, pay their bills and make a better life for their children. When folks tell me about struggling to put food on the table, I understand because I've been there.
The American Church is called to speak through the power of stories -- mirrored in bold and creative action -- to transform our sociopolitical context for the greater inclusion of all people in the American Dream.
The effects of civic illiteracy take their toll over time, and while Americans are almost defiantly indifferent about their lack of civic understanding, the consequences to our basic rights and freedoms and the general health of our republic could be dire.
At its heart, America is an idea, not an ideology. And the idea that all men (and women) are created equal is unique to America. Once we allow law enforcement to ask someone for identification because they look less equal, the idea of America weakens.
At a time when we've become so cynical, it's refreshing to attend the annual Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards, which celebrate individuals who have contributed to the American experience in various realms
It took me getting invited to Chicago and imagining my grandfather coming there to reexamine the concept of the American dream. These tough economic times have driven many people to forget or even to mock it.
Studies imply that more than 80 percent of dropouts would have stayed in school if they believed it was more relevant to real life. Learning how to run a small business can help kids see how their core classes aren't just cruel tortures from adults.
The apparent Republican goal to lower our worker's wage rates and benefits to a point where we are competitive with China's wage rates should not be what we strive for. This is America. We should use innovation to create new industries and new markets.
It used to be the "American Dream" was to purchase a detached single family home down the street from Ozzie and Harriet Nelson. Today, that dream has been reduced to simply hoping your family can afford rent on a two-bedroom apartment sandwiched in a multi-storied stucco box.
Today, April 4th, 2012, marks the 44th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination. It's a good time to reflect on the state of not only Dr. King's dream, but the American dream at large.
Today I begin a beautiful journey, walking almost 3,000 miles fighting for the DREAM Act as a first step to legalizing all of our people, because for a very long time we have helped build this economy.
Springsteen investigates in detail, through his music, the idea of "the American Dream." To be more precise, though, Springsteen looks hard at the idea of socioeconomic mobility often associated with the American Dream.
It's all about having choices. People have been creative and innovative with their careers since the economic downturn and the Plan C option empowers workers to design a scenario that taps their strengths and plays to their passions like never before.
Congress must not let the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act expire at the end of the year. Today 12 million Americans are on the verge of losing their homes because they owe more money than their home is worth.