This I Believe

Roy - Chula Vista, California
Entered on July 23, 2007

I believe in the middle class. What amazes me about today is the necessity for extremes. One must be first or be last; one must be rich or be poor; one must live in a mansion or be homeless; and etcetera. Where did this come from? I think it stems from the basic American belief that all good things come from working hard. If one applies oneself then the rewards are innumerous. This is exemplified by the many luminaries that are portrayed in the media as the pinnacles of American achievement. Excellent, if I’m diligent, then I’ll be on TV and live in a big house and drive a fancy car; but is there enough for everyone to go around? This simple concept of diminishing resources has been lost in today’s concept of living. Hence, if one cannot get that or see no means by which to work hard enough to get those nice things then why try at all? This concept, I propose, has pervaded popular culture and the more people buy into it the more we put ourselves in danger of falling to external competition. I believe the beauty and strength of American society lies in the middle class. The concept of the middle class states that the majority of people will live comfortably without having to worry about the necessities of life; and, if they so choose may go for extras without compromising their foundation. The middle class allows the majority of people a feeling that the American dream is a reality and not a prize for a chosen few. The middle class also provides an attainable reprieve for those who have succumbed to bad fortune and just need a reachable rung to pull them out and onto stable grounds. The middle class is America. We need to go back to the days of Leave it to Beaver, Happy days, Laverne and Shirley, The Honeymooners. We need to go back to the days where we take joy in watching the humor of lives that mirror our own and not lust after the “Idols” that so want to shun any resemblance to us. I don’t propose that we turn back the hands of time but simply that we start appreciating the back bone that makes us such a stable and cohesive nation: the middle class.