Over the years, I’ve become disillusioned with our false ideals as a country. I do love our country, and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. This is home. I’m discouraged because we’ve gotten so far away from what this statue is supposed to represent. This is HOME, but what this statue is supposed to represent isn’t real anymore.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” These are the words that are carved on the Statue of Liberty. It has been explained to me that “this was never really true, it was a gift from the French, and the words were just a part of it.” Ok…but I was taught as a child, in history classes, that this IS who we are.
The hope that immigrants to our country have, our own excitement of knowing we can do anything if we work hard enough, the devil-may-care willingness to take risks to find success, the celebration of others success, that we enjoyed as much as did our own, and most of all, our benevolence as a nation…all of these things have all been overtaken with a caricature of all of these things.
Immigrants aren’t seen anymore as hard-working people with dreams who are going to become productive members of our “melting pot,” that same melting pot that my history teachers in school spoke about as they beamed with pride. And it’s really sad, because if the bigots will cast their prejudice aside and really LOOK at our immigrants, they will see that this is exactly what they are. They’re not brown skinned takers. They’re people who are willing to do any kind of work for any amount of pay because they do still have the dream for their families. I’m glad they don’t speak a lot of English. If they could hear, the words of the majority of the American people would kill their dreams. I can only pray that my children will grow up with the work ethic that these good people have.
Our excitement of knowing we can do anything in this great country has been replaced with disillusionment as we’ve learned that it’s not a guaranteed path at all. No matter how hard we work, it may not be rewarded because of the greed at the top of every organization, the lack of loyalty that business have towards their employees is a thing of the past; as a result, the loyalty that employees have towards their employers has eroded. And our government…when did we become a country in which a person could be elected to Congress as “one of us” and be a millionaire a year later? The passion for the people has been capitalized.
Take risks? For the most part, we’ve become people who are afraid of risk altogether. Partly because of the paragraph above, but we’ve also accepted the fear that “leaders” – our clergy and our politicians – use to control us.
Celebrating others successes? Sometime in my lifetime, it became cool to be hard-edged and selfish. Cut-throat business became business as usual. We used to cheer for the underdog. Now? We push his face into the ground so he stays there.
Our benevolence as a nation? It’s being used to buy other nations. We give more in federal aid to countries that don’t really need it, for the purpose of buying our foothold in certain parts of the world, than we give to make our own country a better place.
Anyhow…this started as a paragraph with the quote from the statue of liberty. I’m long-winded.