Friday, May 4, 2012
The American Dream
Antonio used to be a dishwasher. He came to the United States with a suitcase full of dreams, dreaming of a better life. He left his country in the middle of a civil war, leaving behind a job in the business world. His first job in the United States was as a dishwasher. He didn't speak any English. He struggled for the first few years, taking whatever job he could get to pay the bills. His wife got a job as a seamstress, sewing thousands of American flags each year.
Antonio has a good job now, with benefits, and looks forward to retiring in a few years. His English is almost impeccable and his accent barely noticable. Still, he uses his hands a lot of times to make his point, a habit that is hard to break from years of trying to communicate when English is your second language.
Antonio owns a home now. He pays taxes. He has a smart phone. He supports his family.
He wasn't born in this country, but he is one of many who has found the American Dream, a dream that is still real to many people.
I know Antonio. I shake his hand. He is an American.