Monthly Conversation Experiment #1

'A light unto the world'

By CHARLES A. RUBIN of Lake Huntington, New York:
Posted 8/5/20

To be an American, you need to believe in change. To be a successful American, you must believe that you can be part of that change. America is about debate and differences. It’s new ideas and …

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Monthly Conversation Experiment #1

'A light unto the world'

Posted

To be an American, you need to believe in change. To be a successful American, you must believe that you can be part of that change. America is about debate and differences. It’s new ideas and retaining old traditions. America is the story of immigrant success and hard work. It is sacrifice and building on dreams. America is an experiment still in its early stages that people all over the world are eager to participate in. To me, the appreciation of being an American can only be fully realized by living somewhere else first.

I had the privilege to live for four years in Israel as a new immigrant emigrating from New Jersey with my wife, four-year-old and 18-month-old daughters. The country was generous with its basket of services for new citizens providing healthcare, housing assistance, child care, language instruction and counseling—all for free. We returned to the U.S. to tend our aged parents.

Living in Isreal for four years gave us a taste of a different worldview, but it also gave us the unique perspective of reentering American society. I think we were as excited for the possibilities that awaited us as we re-embarked on our American adventure as the newest arrival from the furthest corner of the globe.

There are many differences between the two countries, but they share the peculiarity that most everyone you meet, was a newcomer, either in this, their parents or grandparents generations. There are other languages and traditions embedded in their psyche and demonstrated proudly. This is the essence of being American: embracing our traditions, recognizing the uniqueness of others, discovering the mosaic around us and creating an America that aspires to be a light unto the world.

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