Regardless of the color of your skin the idea of human flourishing, the good life, has always weighed heavy on the minds of most Americans. In that sense Americans stand united, what has been lost is the logical, rational, and reasonable definition of what constitutes a “good life”. The question has been unanswered in the 21st century because we have evolved, Darwin would not be proud, into a society of individualism where the WE has replaced by the I. The “good life” is no longer described by the “American Dream” The belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version of success in a society where upward mobility is possible for everyone. The American Dream is achieved through sacrifice, risk-taking, and hard work, rather than by chance. In the 21st century of increasing debt to earnings ratios, government financial support as in welfare, subsidies, bailouts and grants and low interest loans, we sell our souls to a new kind of slavery, DEBT. There has also been the confusion as to what constitutes success, wealth, and the limits of materialism. The best way to understand this is to look at what happens to Americans with newly found wealth as in a lottery winner. Studies have shown the Lottery winners are more likely to declare bankruptcy to 2 the 5 years than any other American.
In the natural world flourishing is described as an interrelated systemic property, the result of a complex web of contributive relationships. Plants, roots, soil systems, water flows, nutrient cycles, insects, mammals, and seasonal variations all co-contributing to the healthy and resilient functioning of the whole ecosystem.
Compare that to the concept of an interrelated systemic property in a World of individuals who are looking for contributive relationships following the theory of Human Ecology where community psychologists examine individuals’ relationships within communities and the wider society. The theory is also commonly referred to as the ecological/systems framework. Individualism is the exact opposite of the principles of community and society. It is impossible to form a cultural reference simply because there is no accepted standard of the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group. Oxford.
America is no longer a particular nation, people or social group, the melting pot has been replaced with a multicultural, multiethnic, multigender, multi-moral, multi-religious, multi-generational and multi-political, heterogeneous population of selfish, narcissistic individuals.