This I Believe

Hema - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on November 14, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

My older sister was just three years of age when parents emigrated to the U.S from India. She was a member of the typical Indian immigrant family, looking for a new a life, eager for something better, but hindered by the one thing that could make all of this dreams possible, money. So now, when I see her as doctor, living on her own with everything she could ever want, as clichéd as it may seem, I can’t help but believing in the American Dream.

Everyone wants to make something of themselves, and my family was no exception. My father left his wife and infant child in India to start school in America. After making a few dollars, he was finally able to send for his family. They lived in a tiny one room school funded apartment, where he spent the next couple of years scrapping up money for the family while also sending money to his parents back in India. This was not the life my father thought he would have when he dreamed of the prospect of America, or was it the rest of the family’s dreams either. My dad dreamed of giving the best possible life to my sister, and giving her everything she could ever want. My mom dreamed of a big house, a big kitchen and a big garden. Everything she didn’t have back home in India. And my sister dreamed of bigger and better things, a great career and a generally great life.

Fast forward twenty years and my family now lives in a big house with plenty of space and more bedrooms then there are family members. My mom has her big kitchen and a steady job and no longer does my sister dream of going to med school and seeing the world, because now she has done it. The thing is though, that if you would have asked my dad twenty years ago, when all he knew of the U.S was a tiny dorm room without his family, where he would be in the year 2006, he would have been dead on. He knew what opportunities were out there for his family and for my sister, he knew they would succeed, and he knew they would achieve the American Dream.

Being born and raised in the United States, I have more reaped the benefits of my family’s American dream, than actually lived it myself. I’ll never know what they went through in leaving their home and immersing themselves in a completely foreign culture, but I do know how many things that foreign culture made possible for my parents and myself included. The American Dream is everywhere, and it is impossible to look around at the melting pot the Untied States has become, without believing in it.