American dreamers get a rude awakening


Historically, the American Dream has taken many forms. In truth, the dream defies one succinct definition. For some people the dream takes its form as a sprawling home, filled with a big family, with opportunities in education and employment for all. For other people the dream is realized simply as a roof overhead with adequate heat and food available. For some folks, it's simply the right to face each new day directed by their own strength of will. Whatever form the American Dream takes for various people, one thing is for certain: The American dream is beaten down, warped, torn, and tattered. For some hurting souls, the dream has all but faded away.

A story from USA Today cites a recent study conducted by Gallup and Healthways, a Tennessee health management company. The study, which gives body to statistics documenting American aspirations, emotional attitudes, and social conditions, paints a picture of gritty determination in the midst of a mind numbing downward spiral. According to the report; "More than 24 million Americans shifted in 2008 from lives that were "thriving" to ones that were "struggling," What the study cannot give body to is just how long the downturn, or the determination to survive it, will last.