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What America Means to Me

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The American dream definition by Adams (415), states that everyone should have richer and better life, with an opportunity for each according to ability or achievement regardless of race, social class or circumstances at birth. This is drawn from the United States Declaration of Independence. It states that all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness). I was born in a war torn country, grew up in the hardship brought about by war. When the opportunity came to come to America, it was like a second chance at life. With all the excitement, I was still unsure of what this new land held for me but, I had hope and belief that I could achieve the American dream. The American dream promised life, freedom and happiness for everyone regardless of race or circumstances of birth.

I am an American now, and the only song that identifies what America is to me is, Where the Stars And Stripes and Eagle Fly by Tippin Aaron. The lyrics speak volumes, and I can identify with what they stand for and what this marvelous country has been to me. The second verse of the song explains how this land holds countless dreams, and happiness is available for all. As long as one works hard, it pays off to achieve your dreams and happiness (Cowboy Lyrics 7). The second verse reminds me of liberty and freedom, as seen at the Statue of Liberty. It is an echo of the price that was paid by the fore fathers of this country so that all men, me included could enjoy liberty and freedom in America. The Third verse is a pledge of allegiance to the nation, am so proud to be an American and am not afraid to show it. Being an immigrant, it might be hard shedding off the mentality of not being able to identify with your country of origin. Where I came from, the war situation made every thing in that country miserable, and patriotic was the last thing one wanted to be. The song concludes by saying that America is a magnificent nation where one can raise a family, since opportunities for the children to grow are plenty and they are able to achieve a decent education and careers without barriers. These barriers are present in my country of origin and are deeply rooted in that society. It is the greatest place on earth, and I know this because that is how it feels like every day when I wake up in te morning.

Liberty is freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, and hampering conditions. It is the power of right of doing, thinking, and speaking accordance to choice. To me, liberty is synonymous with America; it was founded on the principle of liberty. Like in the song that I stated before, the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of freedom and democracy. I appreciate the freedom am able to exercise compared to what I was allowed or not allowed to do in my country of origin. Being able to do, think and speak your mind is one of the greatest gifts to an immigrant coming from a war torn country with Authoritarian rule. In war torn countries, like where I come from, citizens do not have access to many facilities like health, proper housing and access to clean water.  Having running water in my house is something I do not take for granted.  War tears the country’s systems and every thing become a privilege, so being in America that offers those things freely as a right is sometime too saintly to be true.

There is a vast difference between living in America and my country of origin because of the rights accorded to people. It was fascinating at first to meet people who are so aware of their rights and demand for them. What makes this American dream a reality is not just the dream is the freedom to achieve that dream. I knew I wanted to attain a higher education and have a career but in my country that was not easy. Quality education is not guaranteed and the threat of death in a war torn country is more a reality, than the dream to make something out of his or her life. The opportunity to pursue dreams and ambitions is provided for in the laws of this country.

America is a land of equality as I have realized in the years that I have lived here. Equality is associated with freedom which is another component of the American culture. This equality issues stem from as early as the American Revolution and the Declaration of independence, as I mentioned earlier. It states that men are created equal, and the America I have come to love offers equality irrespective of race, origin or beliefs. According to the Declaration of Independence (2), giving citizens their rights allows them chances to achieve their born status and work towards what gives them happiness. A person’;s belief, color and race should not be an artificial barrier to their pursuit of happiness. It is such a cultural melting pot such that, for an immigrant, it is easier to fit in and adjust to a better life. The public services are provided for all and opportunities for pursuit of happiness too.

The education system offers equal opportunities to all Americans regardless of their country of origin. I am able to pursue my higher education just like a child born and raised in America. This means that I can be whatever I set my heart to. The opportunities offered are astounding and with hard work immigrants can be equal to other Americans. Even the poorest of students are able to afford a college education with the availability of financial loans and grants. Education opens doors to those opportunities to live and have the American dream and its one step closer for an immigrant to having it all. It puts people on an equal playing field, despite other factors that may influence outcomes. The American education system is one of the best in the world, and it opens the world for an immigrant student. When I graduate college, I will have opportunities to work anywhere in the world, and this would not have been possible had I remained in my war torn country. With a good education, immigrants can get better dignified jobs and better incomes and live the American dream of economic prosperity.

The laws of American society make sure that every citizen is protected under the law and a judicial system that is just to all. Justice, from my point of view, is having the law being able to protect its citizens and ensure fair and equal treatment in the criminal systems. It is unbelievable that Americans view their law enforcement as a source of help, because where I came from, the police were there to administer discipline, not protect the citizens. Am grateful that am an American this country has taught me how to be a global citizen and know who am in the greater scope. The education system places me at an advantage, and grants me the opportunity to compete on the same level with people from all over the world. My America to me is the ability to have liberty, freedom and justice to achieve the best that I can be. I know with hard work I can take advantage of the opportunities provided by this magnificent country and live my American dream.

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