I stumbled across this article about how many Americans are giving up their dream cars due the flailing economy. In fact, the journalist asks one West coast PR Exec "Do you think you can love your Prius the way you once gave your heart to a 4Runner or a luxury sedan?" His answer: "I'm willing to not love it".
While the article introduces to several motor martyrs, I took a particular interest to Ms. Conner from Beverly Hills. She recently traded in her BMW330i Convertible for a Mini Cooper. She drops gems of knowledge saying "there’s a certain status that comes with a Jag or a BMW, but you really have to leave that at the door, the ego part." Ego aside, Ms. Conner proclaims "my heart is going forward in a different way. I don't need a luxury car anymore"
Uhm, you never did.
That's the thing about dreams, people don't typically dream about things they NEED. They dream about things they aspire to, things they hope for, and ultimately things they WANT. Even in the worst of times, people still had dreams. Though oft criticized, dreams about ANYthing were always encouraged when I was growing up. So I'm only left to wonder when did good old fashioned lifestyle ambition become so unfashionable? Why can't you just want what you want? Oh that's right, we're in a recession--wanting things is wrong.
At least the car companies recognize the irony in the guilt surrounding "want" and are proactive about it. “The trick now for the car companies is to come up with cars that won’t make people feel horrible about downsizing,” said Mr. Wardle of the Art Center College of Design. Obviously they still have some work to do because when Ms. Conner was asked about how she felt about her new Mini Cooper, "she responded with all the enthusiasm of someone who settled. 'I like it' she said flatly."
I think Ms. Conner's reaction resonates with more people than one may think. Especially those who made ill-advised choices to sacrifice their dreams for practical reasons. You can chalk this post up to ego, reduce it to a rant about my love for luxury cars, or recognize it for what it is: my proclamation that dreams still matter. Whether it be buying a car, having a child, or starting a career in investment banking and consulting; dream and dream big.
My hope is that when you look back on your life you don't just respond "I like it" flatly...