This story is based upon the life of Gladys Aylward, a woman of our time, who was and is dedicated to the simple, joyful and rare belief that we are all responsible for each other.
Christ states this principle like this.
And, a simple commentary on this movie found on the website here, reminds us all of the true call to happiness. The person making this comment is a Mormon, but she knows something which the vast majority of our youth in today's America do not know.
The American Dream grew out of the immigrant desire for a better life, and connected with the messianic myth of Manifest Destiny.
In this new survey, the falsity of the American Dream has morphed into a more dangerous form, indicating a lack of spiritual insight in our youth.
As an ex-college lecturer, I can say for sure that the vast majority of youth in my classes should not have been taking college courses, but learning some necessary, useful trade or skill, many which are missing from our society. Apparently, there is a shortage, for example, of car mechanics, as well as practical nurses.
The substitution of the desire for money rather than the desire for a house, family, status, security indicates a decay of spiritual focus among youth. Money does not make one happy, but, of course, the falsity of the original American Dream, being basically a materialistic formula, does not make a person happy, either.
Yes, we all need, and do I not know this personally, housing, food, stability, safe environments. But, we all do not need to own property, although this is laudable and a right, even held sacred by the Catholic Church's teaching on private property, we all do not need lots of stuff, and we certainly do not need to be rich.
The problem with these dreams points to the lack of knowledge or understanding that as Americans, our ultimate goal is not the house for sale down the block, or the newest car, or a flat-screen tv, or the ability to go out eating daily with friends. The goal of each human is union with God.
Not part of the American Dream.....
But part of God's Perfect Will for us....
The only ways to be happy in the old version of the American Dream have been set aside by fantastical dreams of wealth, and power.
Do we all need a reminder of these "happytudes" as we use to call the Jerusalem Bible translation of the Beatitudes?
And, of course, beatitude is not the same as happytude.
The vision of Christ for our happiness is not the same as the American Dream. But, this permutation of it as expressed by some young people, of being rich, shows how far some members of this generation are from the truth of the necessity of a relationship with God and with others in service and love.
Matthew tells us of the real American Dream, which is not a dream, the but reality of God's plan for each one of us who walk these lands, and all lands.