A New Sense of Life
In Baldwins Discovery of What it Means to Be an American, it was said that to be an American was a truly free feeling. The fact is you could change yourself mid-life and still hold worth and prowess. The idea of being considered a great author, and also as being a great actor, holds different places here in America then in Europe, or even Canada. Most places would hold the profession of an author to have more of an elegance then an actor. The author holds more intellectual ground, then that of one who can act out a part and memorize lines. (Not so much as the idea of being a writer, then an actor, but how you present yourself.)
If someone asks you, Who are you?, you might simply answer, I am a carpenter. or I am a congressman. Say you have a job that would not be as high on the social ladder as these. For example, use the profession of a garbage man. He gets paid as much as the carpenter, but in society, that profession isnt looked upon like a carpenter, or a congressman. Along the same lines, a congressman, or even a carpenter, can turn around at the pinnacle of his career, and choose to be a garbage man, if thats what his heart seeks. America has a view unlike any other nation, in which you can start over at any time. You can take control of your life by going back to school, learning what you want to, thus becoming something completely different at the age of 50.
Unlike many eastern nations, where you are dedicated to that one job concept, (IE. If youre an incredible trumpet player, you will be that for the rest of your life, and thats that), in America you have the option to move about in the job market, to try out different professions, and feel your way through life. You can see evidence of that by the fact junior colleges are very popular among older people. In America, you are allowed to go to school for the rest of your life if you want to, and the school will work around your current employment schedule. The meaning of life in America is different than that of any other country. You can go where you want and be whomever you want. It is called the pursuit of happiness. Ill use me as an example. Im currently working as a computer salesman for Gateway Computers. On the side, Im reading and learning about the A+ certification to become a computer technician, so I can move out of my current profession as a salesman and into one of a technician.
In America you always have the option of bettering yourself.America is the path of gold to anything and everything in life. You can achieve whatever you can muster, and are encouraged to do your best every step of the way. You can take your life, completely turn it around at any point, and become someone you werent 3 days prior. In Japan, for example, this would be unheard of. If youre in college, you would identify yourself as a student. Later in life, you would say youre a businessman, or woman, or a professional, and that is what you would be. The changing of professions in Japan is extremely rare and seldom considered. In the land of America, it is always an option. You can always better yourself, and become a better you.