This I Believe

Arshneel - Media, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 27, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: hope, immigrant

We all have a dream, but often it never comes true. Perhaps Woodrow Wilson said it best, “We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter’s evening. Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true.” While great leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King and Gandhi truly did bring their dreams to the sunshine, it is the everyday success stories of my parents and other common people that inspire me to never lose hope. I believe that all dreams can come true with faith.

While watching 20/20 the other day, I heard the story of Yolanda and Rogelio Garcia, an immigrant family current living in Los Angeles. The Garcias have never given up hope, even to this day, and slowly their dreams are beginning to come true. It was thirty years ago that they illegally moved to the United States in search of a better life. Despite holding respectable positions back in their homeland, when they came to the US, they worked the most menial jobs. First it was in the kitchens, and then the factories. Now, thirty years later, the Garcia’s live day by day off of recycling. They wake up daily at 1 am and search through dumpsters for recyclable materials. Often their fourteen hour work day only produces forty dollars. Despite having to support three children on such little income, the Garcias remain content, and their hope for a better life has paid off. The eldest son, Rogelio Jr, has recently graduated from the prestigious MIT with a degree in aerospace engineering. The Garcias are truly living their dream of success.

Although not as remarkable as the story of the Garcia’s, the success stories of my parents have provided me with inspiration as well. Despite coming from middle class families, both my mother and father were first generation college graduates. After receiving their education, they came to America fleeing religious intolerance and seeking equal opportunities. My mother arrived in Chicago with only eighteen dollars and no relatives to look to for help. Working illegally, she could only find employment in low paying jobs, such as cleaning the cages of animals. Despite receiving a minimal forty dollars a week, she did not lose hope, and it paid off. In just a few years my mother had climbed the ladder to success. Through her hard work she was able to attain a position in a research lab at Northwestern University. Not only did the University provide her with a sufficient income, but it also sponsored her for immigration.

My father, on the other hand, started at a higher position on the ladder compared to my mother, but he too dreamed of success. A firm believer in the power of education, my father wanted the best for his children, and sp he moved to America. Despite having a medical degree prior to arriving in the country, he, too, faced numerous hardships. As an Indian-American, and a practicing member of the Sikh faith, he faced much opposition in the workplace. While such troubles did affect my parents, like the Garcias my parents did not let their dreams die; rather they nurtured them through the bad days and into the sunlight, and in this way they were able to accomplish great things. Their example has inspired me to believe that all dreams can come true if one has faith.