Don’t Forget to Water your Roots

Aileen - palm desert, California
Entered on May 28, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Millions of Immigrants migrate to this country every year to succeed in working for a better life for themselves and their families. Twenty million of them are considered “illegal immigrants”, but we forget that we are all descended from immigrants. Some, having settled here many years ago, have forgotten that their ancestors too came to this country for a better tomorrow.

We must remember that, we didn’t all just appear in this American land, we all originally came from somewhere, and then settled here. It might not necessarily be our generation, but for most of us, our parents and ancestors settled here years ago coming from all different parts of the world.

Unfortunately, our native customs and culture has been buried through layers and layers of American supplies that have kept us here and satisfied. Creating an ambition for wealth and success, I too am guilty as charged. Who can blame us, after all, the discovery in 1848, drew the largest sum of immigrants in the nations history. This through out time formed a multi-ethnic society in America’s borders.

In my high school ethnic diversity class, we did an activity, in which my teacher split the class by different European countries of origin. I was amazed at the number of students, who had no idea which European country they came from. One student, when asked by our teacher what her ethnicity was, simply answered, “I don’t know, I’m just white.”

This event made me question why many of us don’t know where we came from or how we got here?

The answer was simple; we have all been dipped into this pool of American satisfactions. The materialistic lifestyles, high lifted by cars, housing, technology and even movie stars, have kept us satisfied to the point where we don’t credit our native countries, because we are so happy to be here.

I believe that kids should be informed about their ancestors; they should have the right to question their elders about their family history. Where they came from and how they got here. It is all important in helping them discover who they are. With this also helping them pass on their information to their kids thus, creating a chain reaction explaining why we are all different and wonderfully unique. Parents continuing to pass on their native language to their kids may help keep native customs stay alive. Bilingual people are getting better job opportunities for speaking more than one language, with this we not only gain more success but we help keep native languages from dying.

I believe that the different cultures, races and people are what make this country so successful. I believe we have every right to take advantage of that success and reward ourselves with the results of all of our hard work. I also believe that we need to not forget where we came from and who we are because eventually, we may forget ourselves.