Having to communicate through certain situations with my parents meant that I did most of the talking simply because it irritated others to have to try and take the time to understand my parents and their broken english. Working as full-time translator sometimes frustrated me as well, but overall, it taught me that as much as it is a struggle for me to understand them, its ten times more frustrating trying to speak a different language and to not only be unable to communicate your thoughts and feelings, but to also have others either get upset or ridicule you for your efforts.
2. How To Keep An Open-Mind
As much as we would all love to believe the world is founded on unity, justice, peace, and fairness to all; it really isn’t. From a young age, I was already aware of racial differences; whether physical or cultural. This was a natural assumption to make when you were the odd one out when it came to certain cultural traditions. What I grew up realizing was that the stark contrast between my family and those around me were not harmful, but could actually be advantageous. I learned that these differences were not placed there to separate us, but rather function as a catalyst to allow us to learn from them; to join many different pieces, like a puzzle, to maybe finally feel whole again.
Life isn’t exactly easy for immigrants; being subject to language barriers, racial and cultural discrimination, and general unfamiliarity to a brand new country is a significant hurdle to overcome. I feel fortunate enough to have been there to see my parents struggle with many of these hindrances and yet have still managed to create a comfortable life for their children. I thank them everyday for being a living reminder of what they have risked and given up in exchange for our success and happiness, and I only hope that one day I could repay them for all that they had risked, and given up. They will never cease to be my motivation to keep growing as an individual in every sense of the word.
4. Courage / How To Stand Up For Myself
Another unfortunate consequence of being an immigrant in a new country is that you are left to prove yourself to others, and spend a rather large amount of time unnecessarily defending your actions. Every offspring of an immigrant family may understand the chaos that ensues when simply trying to return an item at a retail store. As a child, these miscommunications used to be a source of great anxiety and embarrassment for me, until I realized the sadness in the situation; nobody should feel as though they constantly owe others an explanation. Living on the defence is not only exhausting, but is incredibly heartbreaking. What I learned from this is that my parents would not go on to feeling alone, and I would no longer watch on the sidelines: I found my voice, and I tried my best to make sure nobody felt silenced.
5. Compassion/How To Love Others
Finally, my parents gave me the greatest gift one could ever receive. The result of all these amazing qualities listed above is that they have shown me the beauty in differences. They have highlighted the importance of listening, respect, and acceptance. What I have come to realize is that my family is just as real as other families. They have sadness, like others do. And they have happiness, the same way others do. Love is found everywhere, despite our differences. And I can promise you, that that love is the exact same.