These past few weeks I have been fortunate to have been able to coach a young Russian youth how to surf. First off, I could hardly tell he wasn’t “American” because his English was so good. It actually makes me feel a bit embarrassed that I can only speak just a little Spanish, French and German and certainly not enough to have a real conversation with those who speak those languages.
Secondly, although we are from different cultures and backgrounds, we have bonded very well and have gotten along famously. When we first started out, his father asked if he needed to pay me up front (we are doing weeks and weeks of lessons) and when I said we would settle up later he seemed somewhat taken aback. I suppose he wasn’t accustomed to having someone trust them in that way. My trust was also paid back as they have not only paid in full when requested but have also purchased a board and other things from the shop I work for even though there are many other surf shops in Jacksonville Beach.
Throughout my life, I have always taken the approach that I am going to trust and like someone until they prove to me they don’t deserve my trust. Sure I’ve been burned at times from this but for the most part that trust has been repaid and earned.
This all made me think about the debate going on currently regarding immigration. It seems to me that the opposition to it is both a bit misguided and possibly so out of either fear or selfishness and that we might have forgotten what America has been all about along which is that it has been the land of opportunity that accepts everyone (within reason of course).
In the final analysis, unless one is the descendant of a Native American Indian, they are descended from an immigrant. So then, if that is the case then how can we say the next wave of immigrants is unworthy.
There was a time when Italians, Irish, Puerto Rican’s, Chinese and other nationalities were given a hard time when they first immigrated to American but now they are pretty much accepted. If so then why the issue with Mexicans, Muslims, Arabs and other cultures.
It seems to me that when we lump a group of people together as troublesome, evil or untrustworthy then we are not being fair and open-minded or true to who and whet we are and what we profess to be “the land of the free and the home of the brave”.
We need to look at each individual , individually before we decide either to, or not to, let them in rather than as a group. I believe that’s what has made this country great and the more we get to know each other and the less we judge and separate each other the stronger we will be.
Who knows, maybe all we need to do is enjoy a good surf session together. Ethnicity and nationality never has seemed to matter in the lineup.
Thanks for checking in this week. I hope you have a good one and look forward to seeing you back here again next week.