What Freedom Means to Me

Truth be told, the primary reason that make people leave their old lives and come to America to start a new life is an issue of economics. Money is the skeleton of the American Dream, so to speak. America is the only country in earth that provide a real chance to create wealth. We come to put food on the table. We come to achieve our fullest potential. We come here so we can have a chance to offer a better future for our children.

However, What the American Dream Means to Me?

If money was the skeleton of the American Dream, then American values are the flesh on the skeleton. They are as important, maybe more, yet they are often thought about in retrospect. Like any other country, America has its own set of values. Most of the time, it skips the attention of the average immigrant and his or her children. At some point, they realize their potential achievements in this country is coming from the American values themselves.

How? First, most immigrants never stop to examine American values the way they deserve before they sign up for immigration. In my humble opinion, this is because:

  1. Our countries did not have those same or similar values.
  2. We do understand the values, and feel our lives will not be complete without them, but we never know until we actually have them too.

A good example would be the Chinese citizens who do not care about the concept of free speech. Free speech being a firm American value has no translation in China. The Chinese know they are being censored, but they place more value on law and order over free speech. Interestingly, most Chinese immigrants in the U.S. are not here for the free speech, but for another reason mentioned above. Those in China are more concerned with the welfare of the elderly, which in the United States is becoming more and more manageable.

Another example that clarify the point is a gay Iranian. Who might happen to be wealthy, but his Islamic country is not giving him the right to be with whom he love, so he leaves it for a more welcoming country. In his case, he is seeking the values. Not the values for themselves, though, he probably appreciate the lifestyle, laws, and the society, which are all products of the values. Get it?

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