MY AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
CAPS -- denote my own writing style
I am not ashamed of America despite its brutal past. I no longer see America as a RACIAL EXPERIMENT through the prisms of any distinct race. I went through puberty here. People can be great, good and bad everywhere on Earth. HOWEVER - I do cherish my American experience a lot. Here, I learned about "human resilience" from all angles/segments of the "human race". I have felt both adoration and humiliation at least once from all races (including my own). YET -- IF I had to compare the POSITIVES and the NEGATIVES, I'd still have to come to AMERICA again today.
You see, many don't know what they have here. They ought to travel more... really... visit many impoverished nations... I arrived here as a shy, naïve, smart, stuttering and sheltered little teenage Black boy from the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. I left both of my parents and my only sibling behind to leave my chaotic homeland behind and pursue A DREAM. I landed in New York City. I was toughened by the City that Never Sleeps and was taught life by all segments of the human race (e.g., Whites, Jews, Irish, Colombians, Black Americans etc.) My teachers and professors became my best friends. They adored my mind and efforts. They challenged me (tears)... the elders of all segments of society told me about their experiences... and encouraged me... A great percentage of them were WHITE and very DECENT PEOPLE. I never heard or saw RACE. I saw human beings who were genuine... most were candid and most told me about their flaws and prejudices and growths. And 99% of them never looked down on me... I looked up to MEN of all colors and creed and many of them were also WHITE. You see, I did not see RACE. Society taught me about RACE. Far too often, there was no one that looked like me in certain settings and far too often I was the only BLACK YOUNG MAN there. I couldn't afford to focus on my race, but I know that I couldn't close the door either. I had to leave a lasting impression.
So, what the heck is he writing this w/ tears in my eyes for, you may be asking? I am a bit saddened that in 2020, we are still making so much about race, when it's really about FEAR and SOCIAL NORMS and CONDITIONING. I have heard North Easterners and Mid Westerners talk about people from the South in worse parlance than they do about Blacks. I have heard it all. We tend to box people that seem different... We did it systematically at the onset to justify slavery... and we have all been taught to do that... it makes us feel safe b/c we know what to expect from those who differ from us or not... we can manage our expectations better and have less comparisons to make. YET, WE GROW LESS with less diversity and become more like each other and more "blah" or boring or uninteresting.
AMERICANS are often misinformed by the media and societal forces, but deep down inside, they are a SPECIAL GROUP... Most Americans don't believe in impossibilities. In a World in which most people feel lucky, Americans feel nearly entitled and feel that they can do better. Americans have legally-grounded freedom to self-express, practice their religion, get together to be themselves and march... pursue happiness, invent stuff, become super wealthy. The latter is in trouble with certain political sectors of society. I am saddened because I see both a more prosperous America and a more impoverished one concurrently. We are at a crossroad. We'll be challenged. There are tough days ahead for those who depend on a paycheck or live from paycheck to paycheck. But there is a GOD! Somehow, those with faith will get through. If God can take care of the birds, he can take care of them too. I thank America for giving me the chance to become who I wanted to be since I was a little boy. AN EDUCATED MAN. A RENAISSANCE MAN. That's all I ever wanted. Yet, America gave me more... a knowledge of all cultures; an appreciation for WEALTH and CAPITAL ; yet a HUMILITY to realize that it can all be LOST overnight had we not had our CHECKS-and-BALANCE SYSTEM.
This is where it is still happening... we need to get back to business somehow... we can't be crippled by a pandemic forever. We need to get used to doing business VIRTUALLY and safely in person when it is required. But, we can't allow the machine to become rusty. We must OIL IT UP and let it run like the WELL-OILED MACHINE that it is. IN A RUSH!
THANK YOU AMERICA...
Sincerely and IN AN AMERICAN RUSH...
Your Adopted American Son,
PS Of course, this too became an article... it was not meant to be one at first. But quite often I only wanted to write 1 sentence, and the inspiration keeps pouring into me to write more. So, there you have it, yet another unscripted article by Dr. Pete Lorins (smile)... another addition to LorinsPOST to be shared with the World at large.