“I Want to Be a Millennial When I Retire.” By Jim Sollisch, is written by a father who is proud of his son for living the life of a retired millionaire as he called it. Jim’s son is a 25 year old musician who does not ask for money from his parents and is able to live of his small tours and substitute teaching. Max, Jim’s son is living the new American dream. This dream consists of living the life many Americans live at retirement, now. This new American dream consists of doing what you love so that you never have to work a day in your life. When initially reading this article you cannot help, but feel happy for max. This editorial will aspire you to be like him and live out your dream while you are still young. This is true happiness. Me being a millennial in my early 20’s I thought, “I want to live a life like Max.”
However, soon after reading the article I could not help, but feel the walls around me getting smaller. As someone who has not asked my parents for money in over ten years it is hurtful to see another version of the American dream placed in front of you that you once again, cannot achieve. As if the original American dream was not difficult enough as a 2nd generation immigrant with college loans to pay and no health care, the alternative dream requires something that you cannot gain through hard work. The alternative American dream of living off your vision requires a safety net.
It is difficult to live out your dream when you know no one is there to break your fall. As Jen Indiana commented, “I have noticed children of very financially comfortable parents are more likely to pursue the arts as a career than those of us who struggled growing up.” I do believe that everyone should attempt this unorthodox view of happiness; however one of the many problems with the millennial generation is that many of us do not realize that there are struggles occurring in our own backyard beyond not being able to get a job soon after college. We do not realize that this country still has second generation Americans who do not have the means to even attempt to live a life by pursuing their dream.
There is still a hierarchy of needs in place that come with being a human being. As Abraham Maslow describes, only after we have all our needs met for survival can we pursue self-actualization. Max clearly has his main survival needs met and had them met when he first began pursuing his dream earlier in life. Without that it would not have been a lighthearted article, but one of hardship and poverty.
It is hard to see the bright side of things when you have struggled to get out of darkness for so long. I am happy for Max, but wonder if those who continue to struggle have a chance at the plan B American dream.