Returning Home, Giving up the American Dream
The following comment was made by mackdiva, an anonymous reader of this blog.
Jamaicans everywhere need to engage in much more dialogue with each other to sort out exactly what it means to migrate to another country. There are facts, but there is a lot of fiction...
Thanks to mackdiva for sharing
Well my friend...the grass seems greener when all you see is the hype that is America. There is much muchness here. Stores galore, big shiny hospitals with art on the walls, and nightlife and museums and baseball games and the list goes on.
But you need plenty of money to buy into all the muchness...pretty much like any other country. If you lived in Australia, or Gabon, or Thailand I would imagine that you would need a lot of money to live large there too. Just as if you were not so well off or struggling in those places the grass might seem greener somewhere else. I rarely hear of wealthy people leaving JA because I imagine they feel they have enough.
Now I was fooled by the hype of America. I grew up watching Sunday matinee movies on JBC where everybody in America sang and danced and all were happy. I visited America and was dazzled by all the shiny stuff...but thats all it is... stuff.
America is not that much different to anywhere else in the world right now. Never really was. It's not particularly safe, it has it's economic struggles, food is expensive. Many jobs do not offer insurance. Public schooling is weak unless you live in a very wealthy area. And I don't mean ordinary wealthy by living in a nice brownstone in Brooklyn wealthy. I mean living on Park Avenue overlooking Central Park wealthy, to have your child in a good public school that has the calibre teaching of say Fay Simpson Prep in JA.
Here in the States you have to put up with a value system in Education, and morals, and just a bunch of other things across the board that do not match the way we Jamaicans are raised. My daughter has to put up with children constantly talking and misbehaving in the classroon because her classmates do not value Education as Jamaicans do. The Teacher's hands are tied because even daring to discipline a child here is considered a crime...so classrooms are out of control.
I had to take my child to the hospital after a child stabbed her with a pencil at school. A beautiful hospital with smiling nurses and glistening floors. My husband and I took her through Emergency and the Doctor prodded her wound as my daughter and I winced. The Doctor declared her a non medical emergency and refused to clean it or put a little salve on it....unless we had $280. My husband and I do not have insurance at our jobs as we happen to be 2 of the millions of residents and citizens of America who do not have insurance so our hands were tied. So I asked for an excuse for school...and the Doctor said sure with a lovely smile...if we had $280. So off we went to lovely shiny Walgreens...which I can assure you has no cure for being treated like a second class citizen.
Everything(emphasis on the word thing)is here in the USA. When I lived in New York City I was surrounded by Theatre(I love the theatre)...a decent seat is at least a hundred dollars so to take you and your family is at least 300dollars.How often can you do that? I can't afford that! Plus you work so much here you often don't have the time or are too exhausted to do all the entertainments they have here. Add Winter to that and you really do not want to go anywhere. Plus, what is the use of a thousand baseball games when all you want to see is a Cricket Match?
I do not blame anybody for thinking America is so glamorous. America's attractiveness is based in illusion, Hollywood, popular culture, celebrity, glitz in bulk...mesmerizing. Yet, all you have to do is look at the latest episode of some celebrity show or glossy magazine to see how unhappy people are here, and these are Americans born and grown here with a pile of money. There is something wrong with that picture.
I met a young lady recently who although born here in the States believes there is a lack of compassion and care about people here that makes her uncomfortable and unhappy. She is looking to Europe for relocation. Her parents who gave up all they had in India to live here think that she's mad. So maybe the grass will always seem greener, but I have seen first hand that it is not, and I am glad that I have discovered this while I am still fairly young and have the strength to move back home and work towards my goals and dreams, same as I would in America. So with all the material stuff that is here... jackmandora...mi nuh choose none...I'm coming home.