"American Dream fades
The immigrants gathered at dawn to chase the American Dream, but as fast as the sun soared over New York, so the dream slid from their grasp. -Sat, Oct 25, 2008 AFP
NEW YORK, US - THE immigrants gathered at dawn to chase the American Dream, but as fast as the sun soared over New York, so the dream slid from their grasp.
About 60 men wearing boots, jeans and sweatshirts, most of them illegal immigrants from Latin America, stood silently at the Brooklyn crossroads. They watched the traffic and when a vehicle drew up rushed to offer their services - construction, rubble clearing, anything, at US$60 (S$90) to US$100 a day. But on that mid-week day almost no one drove up, and after two hours only four men had found jobs.
'It's terrible,' said Mr Miguel Gonzalez, 48, who two months ago left his four children and wife in Puebla, Mexico to make the dangerous, illegal journey to New York. 'There is almost no work. In the whole week we might find work for one or two days.' "
The America dream. A Hollywood creation. An ideal that were once touted as the most unique in the free world! Well, in some sense it is still true that America is a land of opportunities where you can be anyone you want to be with a fair shoot at fate. e.g. the USA is on the verge of electing it's 1st Black President this November. An impossible dream in such a short time given the country's recent history of enslaving blacks!! Somehow along the path to the dream, something had taken a wrong turn. Integrity was lost. Self-interest and greed reign supreme. Greed is not evil but overly greedy to the point of 'me 1st at all cost and to hell with the others' laid the ruin that the USA economy and financial system is facing!
Lessons for me:
1. there is no permanent leadership in life. The leaders of one era will be replaced by another lot in the new era. And if the new leaders are not careful and diligent in reminding themselves to work on the basic values of integrity, equity for all, sacrifices for the majority, they will demise quickly and leave behind lots of pain!;
2. no matter where you are, it is still you, yourself, that determine what kind of life you will have. When the big environment is unfriendly and hostile, you have to rely on yourself to make the right choice of staying or moving on. Staying still and do nothing is not an option;
3. spending before you make any money or living on credit is NOT the way to go no matter how the advertising folks made it out to be. We need to sift out the 'noises' and focus on the fundamental value of: spend within your mean and save for a rainy day. Do not allow yourself to be trapped in the material world. Spend some time meditating and contemplate about the bigger picture of life!
May we find peace of mind as we live through this extremely turbulent time. May the great American people, especially those who embraced the right values, become great again!