>Happiness in Post Postmodernism


A recent most popular article in the New York Times exemplifies how the generation of Daniel Adler is jettisoning the “work hard, spend hard” mantra that kept capitalism thriving throughout the latter half of the 20th century. It’s too easy to get stuck in the cycle of buying and shopping, only to go back to work and do it all over again. Alas, a lack of sustainability is changing that.

If you didn’t do well during the recession, you were probably an idiot. If you still have money today, chances are you will probably have money for the next 50 years. If you don’t, wake up, there’s no more upper middle-class. You’re middle class, or lower class, and you can expect the prior to shrink considerably over the next 10 years.

 This weekend my little cousin, 17, said that he wants to experience something different in college, because after that he’s going to be settling into a suburban routine (I paraphrase). But it doesn’t have to be like that. The American Dream doesn’t have to be the American norm.

What if you don’t work as hard, don’t build up as much debt, and instead simplify. Choose a passion, and stick with it – don’t care about what your parents expect, or what your roommate from college is doing. Focus on relationships, high literature, and non-material things. That’s the 21st century American Dream.

By Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel Adler writes fiction and nonfiction and is finishing his MFA at University of South Carolina.

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