In his classic play, Death of a Salesman, one of Arthur Miller’s characters said of protagonist Willie Loman: “Attention must be paid to this man.”
Years before that was written American composer Aaron Copeland wrote a piece called Fanfare for the Common Man.
Our government and big business leaders would do well to heed thost messages in today’s topsy turvy world. Mulitple survey results from across the spectrum of sources show that the American household is generally unsettled about the nation, the world and their specific situaiton.
There are people in the world who accomplish great things in science, business, politics and the arts. They are heralded for their achievements—prizes, acclaim, money. We hear about these men and women. Successful people have worked hard. They have experimented. They have practiced. They have failed many times. It is important too for all of us to remember that they put their pants on one leg at a time just like the rest of us.
The single parent juggling full time work and raising children, often with modicum of assistance, should also be applauded. Or, the middle class couple striving to put aside money for their kid’s education while assuring their children have educational and extra curricular opportunities. Or, the small business owner who must navigate the local and federal rules that regulate their operation, while trying to make a profit.
Millions of American families are doing the best they can at creating and living their life. It is safe to say that most people want to do good—if not big—things. Most will never compose a symphony, but they can help their children compose a school paper.
Six years after the Great Recession (statiscially) ended, many household budgets are still stretched. Though inflation is very low, there is still underemployment, leaving many to wonder what happened to the American Dream they were promised if they followed the rules and worked hard. And yet they continue on with their lives, dutifully paying taxes, obeying laws and raising our nation’s next generation.
Frustrated by both the overreach and the gridlock of Washington, Americans will lash out—thus the staying power of presidential candidates like Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson. If you politically corner Americans, they will swipe back at the status quo every time.
Our leaders should understand the fears of the people. That starts with celebrating the lives and the accomplishments of the common man and woman. —LAZ