My parents decided to come to America sometime in the mid- 1960s, my father came in 1966 and my mother and her five children did not arrive until November of 1969. Why did it take so long? Well, contrary to popular belief, you can’t just get on a boat or plane and come to America. It actually takes years to acquire a valid visa to come to America.
We had to have shots (I still have a big scar on my left arm to remind me that I have indeed been vaccinated against smallpox). We had to take these really ugly passport photos. My Mom and Dad both had to travel back and forth to America and to our capital city for interviews and to complete paperwork.
It’s a very long process and they really look under the covers so-to-speak before they let you out of one country and into another. I actually have relatives who were not able to come to America and immigrated to the United Kingdom and Canada instead.
As I was preparing this topic I began thinking of what my parents (and many other immigrants), had to give up in order arrive here, in the land of “milk and honey”.
My parents were both well-educated. They were in the medical field and we always lived in a nice home. Since I come from a small country, we did not have to travel great distances to be with all of our friends and family. My parents weren’t fleeing religious or political persecution, nor were they faced with economic hardship, the education system for the children was not subpar (my country had an 83% literacy rate back then), and no one was starving. They had simply heard that there was some really green grass over in the US of A (along with a shortage of trained nurses), and everyone owned a car, had indoor plumbing and lived in the lap of luxuriously.
So they brought their skillful and educated selves to America where they then had to spend money on getting re-educated and, and endure the anger and dislike of those who thought they were “taking their jobs”. And of course, their daughters getting beaten up because they “talked funny” (you know kids can’t tolerate people who are not like them). Hmm I digress, well anyway let’s talk about this immigrant thing and get me out of the past, because I could just go on and on.
Immigrants, honestly, have a stronger belief in the American Dream than do most born-and-raised Americans. They are willing to risk everything (livelihood, freedom, way of life) to reach these shore. Why? So that their children can grow up in America and also in order to earn enough money to send back home for the ones who were left behind
To this end they swim rivers, island hop to get closer, sneak in through Canada, use fake identities (there are a lot of people here who are not who you think they are), and live in fear of being caught and deported. So what did/do they know that you do not know or have not made yourself aware of?
Immigrants know the thing that many of us have forgotten – if you set a goal, focus on that goal, and work towards that goal believing it can be reached; you will reach the Promised Land.
Denise Porter is a poet, author, and WAHM [http://www.deniseleeporter.com] She writes articles about working at home, finding financial freedom, and changing your mindset to achieve abundance in your life. If you enjoyed this article,then check out her blog http://deniseleeporter.net