” … For Today.”


I remember some kids on the playground making fun of a classmate because he was adopted. They did not let up until he was crying. The next day this kid came back to school, and again the bullies started to make fun of him because he was adopted.

But, this time he turned to the bullies and said, “My parents could have any kid they wanted and they picked me. Your parents are stuck with you.”

In many ways, America is like that child. Immigrants to America could have stayed in their native land or they could have chosen to go to any other country. But, they chose America. They chose America because of Americans before us who believed in a land of equal opportunity, a land of equal protection under the law, a land of freedom. Americans before us believed in these principles, lived, by these principles, and taught these principles to their children. They defended these principles with their words, with their actions, and with their blood.

The immigrants who come here to be American have sacrificed just as much on their long and arduous journey to our shores. They are American. In addition to the trade deficit, America has an immigrant deficit too.

That immigrant deficit exists because of men and women like those who mentored me. They taught me the American dream, their version. In their version each man and woman is free to live their life to the fullest extent they are able. To build a life which enables them to follow the “pursuit of happiness” as outlined in the American Declaration of Independence. A pursuit that enables them to have a better life than their parents, and their children to have a better life than they have. In their version, we are also our brother’s keeper. However, as Jesus pointed out to his disciples there will always be the poor. Though, this fact does not free us from our responsibility. But, it is not possible for one person to help everyone throughout the world who is in need of help. So, what do we do?

You help those who cross your path. You help those who are ready to reach out, stand on their own, and pursue their own happiness. The ones who just need a little help to stand, they are ready to do the reaching on their own. No, you cannot help everyone. But, every day you can help someone. And today, that one someone is enough – for today.

Some people will say derisively, “That is not the American dream. Americans are not the only ones who want that. Everyone wants that.” No, everyone does not want that. If every person in every nation wanted that, then American would not have an immigrant deficit. There are many in the world that do not have a live and let live attitude. They do not believe they are their brother’s keeper, they believe they are their brother’s master. They believe in death to those who believe different than they do. Children are not born to hate, they are taught hate by people who live by a different dream, a dream of mastery instead of a dream of brotherhood. That is their dream, a dream they teach to their children. So, what do you do?

You help those who cross your path. You help those who are ready to reach out, stand on their own, and pursue their own happiness. The ones who just need a little help to stand, they are ready to do the reaching on their own. No, you cannot help everyone. But, every day you can help someone. And today, that one someone is enough – for today.

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