America continues to open its doors to a large group of new immigrants from countries worldwide, but especially from war-torn and ravaged lands. Welcome; I am glad you are here! A Mayor of London previously came to America and derided, denigrated, and demeaned America for asking immigrants to assimilate. Yes, America will ask you to assimilate; yes, this request includes those legal and illegal immigrants; yes, assimilation is hard, but the effort is worth it.
What is Assimilation?
Assimilation is only taking the best of your old culture, ideals, values, and beliefs and adding them to the best America has to offer. America is not a perfect country; we ask for your help to improve our country by adding the best of your experiences to our best experiences and building America into a greater nation. Why does America ask you to assimilate, even though it is hard; the answer lies in the principles of unity, responsibility, and achieving the “American Dream.”
What is the “American Dream?”
The “American Dream” is to realize freedom, all the benefits of liberty, shouldering all the responsibilities of freedom, and achieving these freedoms through work, education, and self-discovery. Many Americans need to be reminded that the “American Dream” has nothing to do with acquiring stuff. The “American Dream” has nothing to do with spending money, although great freedoms are found in earning money and spending that money according to your desires. The “American Dream” has nothing to do with purchasing a home, even though owning property is a cherished freedom. The “American Dream” is realizing freedom in all its glory and all of its reality.
The “American Dream” means failure, struggle, hard work, loss, gain, understanding value, and so much more. The “American Dream” has tragedy and heartache, misery, and the ultimate joy of achievement. Some of the hardest struggles in understanding the “American Dream” are found in sending loved ones marching to war and not seeing those same loved ones marching back home, and it is the “American Dream.” Understanding and embracing freedom, to see the best and worst of humanity and realize that freedom through a constitutional republic is still the best form of government available, even through all the imperfections. The “American Dream” means unifying around a single standard.
What is the single standard to rally around?
The US Constitution and the American Flag are the standards to rally around. Does rallying around this standard mean suddenly easy street, riches, and smooth sailing; absolutely not! Rallying around this standard means unifying, dropping the labels, the hyphenations, the separations, and realizing that we are better together than we are separate. Again, the “American Dream” is all about understanding freedom in all its glory, majesty, and terribleness.
The principles of unity are many, but also very few. Unity is all about choice; having a choice is all about freedom. Freedom is all about shouldering the consequences of making choices to become more unified or less unified; simple and complex, easy and difficult. Unity is not a paradox; unity is a learned principle. Consider the young child. Being a child is challenging, learning a language, culture, basic education standards, and growing. The same is true for immigrants. Many come here and are overwhelmed. Like children, simply asking for help becomes a great challenge, and many times that challenge is because immigrants do not realize that support is available and merely requires asking for help. Hence, the responsibility is all on you, not everyone else; this means the consequences for asking or not asking are also all on you; this is freedom.
The principles of unity are found in a common language and based upon the “Rule of Law.” America is the only country on earth where you can keep your tongue, and the national language, American English, can be a second or non-primary language. Yet, the choice to learn American English has consequences, and those consequences come with a cost. Learning American English is hard, requires work, and will not make sense until time and experience are added to learning. Not learning American English is harder and restricts freedoms: the ability to enjoy all America has to offer and forces you to forever remain outside America’s embrace.
Like language, the “Rule of Law” has consequences that allow more freedom or constricts freedom, all based upon your individual choices and how you evaluate the consequences. For example, break the law in coming to America, and you are not welcome even though many politicians will say differently to abuse and use you. Come to America legally, and you are expected to assimilate to become a citizen. Come here temporarily, as, on a visa, we will expect you to adhere to the “Rule of Law” and eventually return to your original country. Fail to return to your original homeland, and you are here illegally, which has consequences.
The principles of unity include understanding, learning, and choosing to plot your own path. No one is going to run your life for you. Choosing to run your own life requires learning, understanding value, and shouldering the consequences of good or ill choices. In America, you can choose to be homeless, and this is perfectly acceptable. You can choose to chase money; acquiring great riches is possible and completely acceptable in America. Acquire those funds legally, and America rewards them greatly. Acquire those funds illegally, and eventually, American Justice will prevail, and those funds will be lost in a very public trial. Again, we see unity combined with choices, leading to coming together under the same standard and enjoying positive consequences or refusing to come together under the standard and enjoying negative consequences.
The principles of responsibility go hand in hand with the principles of unity—many of the principles of unity overlap with responsibility principles. For example, fail to rally under the US Constitution’s standard, break the law, and watch how quickly the consequence leads to being forced to shoulder the responsibility to yield to unify affects you personally with the full weight and scorn of the American people. Do illegal actions, and you may sometimes not get caught and punished. Eventually, all of society will know how deplorable you are, and justice gets served in myriad different ways.
Consider dishonest politicians. Sometimes they do not get caught and exposed to the harsh reality of the American justice system. Still, they lose all the respect of voters, lose their title, and remain outcasts and pariahs in American society through the media retelling their stories, through a loss of income, and American society continually chastising them for their misdeeds. American culture can be very harsh for those choosing not to assimilate because the refusal to assimilate means a refusal to unify under a single standard, which requires everyone to do their part to make America better.
Making America better is not a job that can be neglected, evaded, shirked, forgotten, ignored, or refused. America is all about working together. Work requires sacrifice, learning, and correctly using freedoms to achieve more freedoms. Working together requires a common language; the common language signifies a common bond amongst those striving to achieve freedoms as a symbol of desiring more freedoms. Please, take the best you have, add it to the best America offers, and assimilate into America. Unify with us in a beautiful patchwork quilt of diversity and togetherness.
Diversity should never be sacrificed for unity, and unity must never be sacrificed for diversity and individuality. It takes both diversity and unity to make America. It requires sacrifice and responsibility to make America. It requires a willing mind and open heart to achieve freedom and understand that more freedom is possible with assimilation than without assimilation. The choice is yours, and the consequences are yours, choose carefully.
© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
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