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Thursday, February 02, 2017

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

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Getting to know you, getting to know all about you.
Getting to like you, getting to hope you like me.
Getting to know you, putting it my way,
But nicely,
You are precisely,
My cup of tea.


Getting to know you,
Getting to feel free and easy
When I am with you,
Getting to know what to say
Haven't you noticed
Suddenly I'm bright and breezy
Because of all the beautiful and new
Things I'm learning about you
Day by day.

This is NOT a political post about my politics, it is about what America is supposed to be, what it's citizens expect it to be, a refuge, a haven, a port in the storm of life.

Once years ago I was traveling through a neighborhood from the South Shore to the North Shore on my way to LaGuardia Airport. It was a bright and sunny day, spring-like and filled with just a feeling that life can be great. As I drove I came to this neighborhood, in the early afternoon. There were people out shopping, music playing and the streets were gaily decorated with colors and art, shops and apartments adorned in a festival atmosphere. At first, my reaction was, I don't belong in this neighborhood, these are not my kind of people, they don't speak my language, we have nothing in common!

As I drove slowly through the streets, stopping for traffic lights and stop signs, little things started to catch my eye. Subtle little things would took me back and reminded me of days gone by. These people were speaking Spanish, they used to speak Italian! Gradually I became more interested in what was going on, the neighborhood was vibrant and filled with life. It dawned on me that this was a part of the future, this is where doctors, nurses, dentist, lawyers and soldiers, teachers, barbers and engineers, scientists and chefs will come from! This was America as I am supposed to understand it. And why not?

Often I hear people say: "If you can't speak English, go back to where the Hell you come from!" That is sadly said by many of us. But I wonder about that, I really do.

What are the circumstances if the shoe is on the other foot? Here you are maybe middle-aged or older, your country is in turmoil, falling into disarray and poverty, maybe revolution by some political or religious insurgents and you need to escape.

You see my point? We are not all able to master new tongues, we can only master our hopes and dreams, and pray to God that we can survive for the sake of our children.

God bless us all!
 And let us imagine China is the only safe refuge we can find, so we risk everything we own, and go to China and settle in. Unless we speak Chinese, we are at a distinct disadvantage, we don't understand anyone! Worst still, there are rules and regulations needed to live in this new world we have adopted. How many of us can learn any new language, especially as we age? What do we do but insist our children learn Chinese, maybe have them speak it at home as much as possible? We find a neighborhood that speaks English and starts a sub-culture of our old-world traditions. As foreigners, we are viewed with suspicion, anger, and discrimination.
If I were hit by a car, and I had to have immediate surgery, I would take the first surgeon that came along. I would not care who he was as long as he was indeed, a surgeon. Then I might want to thank God that his or her ancestors came to this country, in time.

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