Tuesday, March 6, 2007

What it Means to be a Hero

Third and Final Continent: pg 198 "While the astronauts, heroes forever, spent mere hours on the moon, I have remained in this new world for nearly thirty years. I know that my achievement is quite ordinary. I am not the only man to seek his fortune far from his home, bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination"
When I read this paragraph I experienced a chilling sensation of hope, determination, and survival. It is no ordinary thing to travel across three continents and establish a life for oneself on determination alone. While it may seem an easy process, the path of being an immigrant is a long and arduous journey which may take on many lives of its own in the process. This story of a man who experienced life on three continents is a simple story, but it touched me. The simple things we take for granted each day are some of the hardest things for immigrants to deal with, such as the phrase "mind the gap" which took him a year to figure out. Many immigrants can be commended for their journeys and the sacrifices’ which they make to better their lives. It is only through discovering the world that we may truly discover ourselves.
It seems to me that all immigrant have to overcome many obstacles and have had many adventures in their lives. What courage it must take to leave everything and everyone behind. I wonder what is behind the determination of immigrants when they take it upon themselves to go and start a new life somewhere else. Greatness does not fall upon people, people strive for greatness. Immigrants must be looking for a better life, at least one that is better in their own opinion. As far as seeking a better suited life for oneself the immigrant achieves greatness with their perseverance and dedication to getting what they want.
To travel across the world and have many adventures is truly heroic. Many times we give the label of hero to those who are most seen, most availably known, and most unusual. I would like to give this label to the immigrants who take it upon themselves to change their existence. These heroes are often overlooked or outcast by society, but society would do well to incorporate the desire and determination held by immigrants into their own lives and values. We value movie stars for their performances, and writers for their minds, but it seems we do not value immigrants. We should admire immigrants for many reasons, their fight for what they want, their determination to survive and better the lives of themselves and their children, the awesome courage it must take to move to another country and try to make a life of one’s own there.
Although many immigrant stories may seem similar, each must have its own struggles and triumphs. Each immigrant should take very seriously the consequences of what their determination and courage have brought to them. They should embrace and find peace in their achievements and must never minimize what an outstanding process they have gone through. Immigrants should be praised for their strong will and survival skills.

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