Grateful Immigrant

We are born with the ability to reason, maybe for our benefit first, but no less to reason.

We are born with the ability to cry out for what we need when we are hungry, when we are in pain and when we want what is not in our grasp.

Then there are those that care for us or are obligated to care for us and they teach us to say ‘Please and Thank you’ in response to those needs being met.

That lesson is lost on some… NOT that it wasn’t taught, maybe it wasn’t enforced.. maybe some little ones were so cute.. too cute and their ‘please and thank you’s’ were overlooked.

And therein lies the seed of entitlement.

My grandmother told me a story of a young Dominican girl that came from her war-torn country that gave her nothing’. 

‘But when I came to this country, everything I have is thanks to it.. everything YOU have, everything you will BE is thanks to it.’

So it goes without saying this ugly child learned the value of ‘Please and Thank you’ 

I believe in leading by example and although she never said please nor thank you to me, nor any of her children, a fact that will ring true in many a Hispanic family, I will always remember the day as a teenager when she told me that story.. more like a Tweet if it existed then. 

I stayed at home on a Tues. Election Day and my grandmother who never exits the house, if only to go to the bodega or church, came to the kitchen bare-handed and I asked her, where were you?

‘Fui a votar’

Me: Huh??

‘Yes’, she said. ‘I went to vote’… I don’t remember for who, didn’t even care to ask. The fact that she participated was a pleasurable shock.

That action taught me ‘gratitude’. 

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