This Is My Country Too.

My skin is brown. If someone saw me and didn’t talk to me, it is very possible they would think that I wasn’t from America.

But fact of life: I am from America. I was born here, I was raised here. I have spent as much time in India as any other given person who has gone on vacation to any other country.

So when people start talking about sending us back to where we came from, I wonder exactly where they think someone like me should go. If they think they could send me back to India, it’d be the same as if they were sent to the country of their ancestry.

I don’t know the systems there. I know how to go on vacation there.

My home is here. Everything is here. If you want to send me back to where I was born, it literally would be about an hour away from where I’m sitting right now.

America is my country. For those of you who can’t seem to get that we are a country of many different ethnicities, get over it.

Those People Who Know Everything

Do you know this person? This is the person that no matter what you’re talking about, they know everything about it. They know the best way to do something and they know what everyone likes all of the time. They know everything about everyone and they know what everyone feels as well and why they feel it. And if you ever correct them, they will find a way to argue their point or let you know exactly why you’re wrong.

I used to be one of them (and maybe I still am). When I was growing up, I had strong opinions. Well, maybe I still do, but I’ve learned over the years that not everyone shares them and that it’s my opinion and not fact. I used to argue about everything: why certain actors were the best, why the Lakers were better than any other NBA team, why what I liked made more sense than anything else. While I still maintain that I know which actors are the best and that the Lakers are the best NBA team, I also will admit that these are my views. I can also understand that other people have other opinions.

Everything is a point of view. And when we can’t understand someone else’s point of view, it makes us seem like we are know-it-alls. Just because you think you know something doesn’t make my point of view invalid. It just makes it different. And maybe we have different reasons on why we think the way we do. You aren’t doing yourself any favors if you are unwillingly to look at any other points of view. I remember when one of my friends told me while I was growing up that I was too argumentative. While I still believe in my opinions, I should have been more open to hearing other people out.

Opening up your mind to what other people think is a way to learn about things we don’t necessarily know about. It gives us the opportunity to see things in a whole new way. The next time you think you know something and someone disagrees or shares another point of view with you, try listening to their reasons why. It’s not going to hurt you to listen. In fact, you might just learn something new.

Sometimes, It Is What It Is

Have you ever noticed when you don’t have such a good day that you start to wonder what happened? Sometimes, things don’t go well or you have a bad experience or sometimes, it’s just plain boredom that will drive you crazy. 

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received was “You are exactly where you are supposed to be”. This statement reminds me that when I’m struggling with something that there is probably a reason for it. I can usually figure out the reason in hindsight but at the moment, in the moment, I can’t see it at all. Remembering this statement allows me hold onto the idea that at some point, I’ll understand why I’m going through what I’m going through. 

I have these friends who are amazingly strong. They have families, full time jobs, health issues, new businesses, moves, the courage to stand up for themselves, and so much more. I watch them go through struggles where it’s not clear why they have to deal with what they are dealing with. Sometimes, it’s not about dealing with the present. It’s about seeing how it shapes your future. And sometimes, that one step you took to do something or to change something will create the present for you. I see the results their actions bring and it’s amazing how their tenacity has gotten them there. 

Eventually, everything makes sense. Look for one good thing in your present. There is probably a single point that you can trace that back to. And every experience you have had along the way contributed to that good thing. So when things happen and they don’t make sense, just know that this is what it is for right now. Live this moment as today and know it has a bigger purpose. Believe that someday that you will understand the path that has taken you where you will be in the future.