Thursday, August 29, 2013

We're Still Here - But We Don't Feel Well

I started this blog back in 2008. I was frightened by what I saw happening in my country.  The American Dream, that belief that hard work, intelligence and ambition could take you anywhere you desired, died.  It was a slow, sad, painful death and some of us still can't believe it's gone.

It is.

I have gone through all the stages of grief and have finally accepted that the world I grew up in no longer exists. The brave new world is not better. And we need to speak up about it.

I want to do something. I am not a policy maker (nor do I want to be), I am not a radical (except in my imagination), but I know something has gone terribly wrong and we all need to stop denying it.

There is not one simple fix for an incredibly complex web of issues. But fixes have to begin somewhere. So I'm focusing on work.We are working harder and longer than ever before, yet the middle class is heading for extinction. When it's gone, so is the society we say we live in.

I write.  I believe that this little corner of the blog universe is my place to shine a spotlight on individual stories, true stories that will illustrate what life is like in what we're told is post-recession America.

I have begun interviewing people from all walks of life, asking them about what it's like to try to stay afloat in the treacherous seas that are America after the economic meltdown.

 Some of them are working multiple jobs. Some are trying to find one. Some of them are at the top of their professions. Some thought they'd be retired by now.

They're young, they're old, they're saddled with college debt or never finished high school. They are us. And their stories are the real stories of what it's like in this country today.

There are other projects out there with similar (or even the same) names. It doesn't matter to me. What I'm doing is not the same as what they're doing, and we're all contributing to what I believe is a vital conversation.  I hope you'll look at all of them.  They matter. These people matter. We matter. All of us.

Like most of us, I work several jobs. Time is my challenge. But my intention is to post one story a week here, and I hope you'll read, comment and share. Welcome to Everyday People. Join in - share your story.