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A Dishonest Convenience
Written on August 22, 2006
Al Gore has been talking about “An Inconvenient Truth.” I will follow him up with what I see as “A Dis-
People want to live the American Dream without earning the American Dream.
The original American Dream is based on earning your lifestyle through the freedoms that you have as
You earn the American Dream by using your freedom to stimulate your personal and national growth,
which comes from innovation of value and inspired hard work.
Yes, our lifestyles have changed since we first expressed the American Dream idea. Yes, the mode of
earning our lifestyles has also changed. But I argue that the basic idea of earning your lifestyle has not
changed. You do not earn your lifestyle by borrowing to keep up with changing times.
You earn your lifestyle by being part of the changing times, by changing with the changing times, and
you do this by increasing the value that you can bring to other people’s lives, through your own per-
You need to base the value on which you live by the value which you can give.
It is when you do not live by these principles that life, sooner or later, comes around and disrupts your
picture perfect plans.
Consequences cannot be avoided when the die has been cast and the process has been set in motion.
In fact, you shouldn’t want to avoid the effects of your actions because the challenges they can bring to
our lives are often how we learn and develop. Along these lines, you always have the choice of whether
to actively embrace change or to wait for change to embrace you. On the other hand, regardless of your
choice, you will still inevitably have to confront the consequences of living by a dishonest convenience –
the convenience of living beyond what you were producing, of borrowing from other people without
creating something of equal or g