Being American means being an immigrant, unless you are a Native American, and they as well must come from somewhere else.
I understand that as soon as people live together rules are needed to make sure everyone live “happily ever after” with the best chances of success and peacefully.
Mankind is not perfect, we see it today everywhere, and history made it clear, and that is why we need people to govern our “countries” and help us organize a better community life, help us keep justice and more.
I like to live by the principle set by the Enlightenment philosophers, who in the 18th Century helped the world to make its necessary changes. When Rousseau, Voltaire, Montesquieu, argued and showed that “no man should be treated less than an other” ” all men are equal”, that the freedom of one should be complete subject to the respect of someone else freedom and to the Society they are living in, for a peaceful community life.
In the same period in America, nourished by the same idea, same movement : the declaration of Independence (1776) and the US Constitution and their amendments were born from the same thirst and same core values
“US Constitution Article [I] (Amendment 1 – Freedom of expression and religion) 13
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
It is just “Bon sens” almost evidence to us that have been born Free. It is a chance that we have to protect. It is a given fact to us, but could fly away.
Our countries have been built on the declaration of Human’s right, on Constitutional rights written thanks of to these men and women who made their voices heard, understood and respected, for the good of all.
Fear is the word that comes to my mind when I try to describe what is happening in the US, and in Europe. There are tones of thoughts that are dashing through my mind, and they are so fast and so loud that no words can’t reach my mouth, as it would make the loudest sounds or a complete silence.
But how can I remain silent. How can I formulate what is laying upon my heart, upon my countries, upon each and every one of us.
(As you may know I am French and I am American, I grew up in Paris from an American father and a French mother. My world has always been both sides of the ocean, and I have been raised open to the world. Truth is that I have been raised in France with the values of Freedom Equality and fraternity. I have been raised on the French soil, with the american dream and values in my heart. My eyes welcoming the light and endless possibilities, my heart always respecting the democracy values, that are deeply grounded in both countries.
I lived in Paris where the “mini” statue of Liberty reminded me everyday of the big one in New York City (gifted by the French to the American, and vis and versa).
I have been lucky to move from one very cosmopolitan city to another, from Paris to Luxembourg to New York City. I say lucky because I am born in Paris in a very international family. I am lucky as my parents meeting each other was made possible by the fact that we live in an open world. But It is a choice I made to continue living in such environment as it my choices that brought me to these places. I also added another international component to my life marrying a Dutch man. In fact I do not even think about it, it is who I am and how I have been raised, open to the world around me. Not naïve. But optimist and trying to bring as much positivism as possible to this world, starting with a SMILE.
A smile is already one step to a better day as I said it many time in my posts.
A baby doesn’t learn to walk in one time, but step by step with the help of others, often his loving family.)
I hear and I see millions of people trying to protects our rights, who recently marched peacefully to protect our equality, our freedom.
I see and I feel the strength of the Native American who have sacrificed their comfort to prevent our water and our earth to be damaged by pollution, I stand with Standing Rock and my heart bleeds knowing our “now” “President” denies reality to Climate change, and decided to move on with the construction of the Pipeline.
I’m in total disbelief in front of the ban made on 27 January 2017 by D. Trump. Anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp “Auschwitz-Birkenau”! 12th birthday of our daughter. What is happening to the world?
For me it is all about Fear. Yes we need action in front of terrorism. But we should not act upon fear and forget who we are as a nation and what are our values. The core of our nation.
We need to protect ourselves and our values, but we cannot compromises them for our safety!
Is living in cage with no light better than dying? (trust me I don’t want to die not death to be part of the plan) What are we allowing in the name of Fear? Why do we allow our freedom to be swept a little more everyday because we are attacked and under the threat of ‘une poignée‘ a “handful” of tyrannic terrorist ? Because we are afraid not to have enough work and food for everyone? ( Really ? with all the wastefulness we are making we can’t come up with better actions and solutions ?)
I am stunned to see what we have allowed in the past decade. I am in disbelief in front of the election of François Holland our french president, very sad day it was for me. Worst to acknowledge the poor choices that were brought to us. Horrified by the choices we are having for the next elections….but it s not only France, it is also here in America, I am still in disbelief of what have happened the past 9 months. And Brexit, the rise of nationalism in England! and everywhere else in Europe.
It is the time to wake up, find solution, positive ones.
Keep the smile inside out anyhow, we need it… we should not forget our baby steps if we want to keep our values alive.
I apologize for my train of thoughts, it is taking turns and turns to arrive to its destination.
The idea is I am an immigrant, my family comes from everywhere and I should not be ashamed of it or worried about it, I should always be proud of it.
The idea is: let’s protect us against villains but let’s continue being ourselves, let’s not compromise ourselves in the name of frights. Isn’t it what we read everyday to our kids : fairy tales and diverse moralistic’s stories to build up their values, their courage, their compassion… We try to give them a sense of honor dignity respect courage, let us keep theses values alive even if we passed the 2 digits.
We should not accept that others are treated in a way we could not accept to be treated ourselves, out of fear.
My family comes from Europe, and for my father’s side is in America since the 18th century or before. The other side of my family is still in Europe or Israel. Anyhow my family has immigrated all around the world. It is lucky but it is not easy. Even for us as a family of 5, moving from Luxembourg to New York which holds my familial roots is great but not easy. We chose to move as we are FREE to, and it is a chance that we have to treasure. But it is not easy to be far away from our family, our friends, the system we know better, to learn everything almost from scratch. Imagine for those who immigrated out of tyrannies, war, who immigrated and immigrates to save their lives, who don’t have another choice to secure their lives. I wish the people who are afraid of immigration to think while deciding out of fear, sitting comfortably in their homes, accumulating useless material goods or fitting to live comfortably. The ‘immigrants’ are not trying to take their jobs or place bombs, (immigrants are not terrorists, terrorists are terrorists) and yes immigration means adaptations. But who are we to close the borders that way ? Are we such a weak nation that it is the last option left to protect ourselves? Can’t we find a better way? There are so many things that can bring back work and harmony, so many ways to improve the economy on joy rather than fear!
I thank all the courageous people who keep smiling, all who keep defending our core values. I wish us all success and hope for the best anyhow…..
Immigration is humanity, we just need to remember who we are and who to handle the challenges that comes with Freedom.
I need to mention a discussion I had with one of my dear friend Mirela, (Romanian Lawyer) when I was a lawyer. We were both attending a training at the European commission on freedom of movement and its impact on labour law etc… We were debating between the 2 of us, on whether Freedom or Health was the most important? I was saying that “Health was more important” as we can’t do anything without being healthy? She was arguing that “Freedom was the most important” as : what good is it to be healthy and not free?
I truly hope that we won’t have to fight for our freedom again ? But as I am seeing things, we are compromising everyday our freedom and should react before it is too late.
Everyone action counts and as a result it becomes stronger as a sum. The balance of ones actions is now troubled by fear and we see the rise of nationalism. People think about their own worries and forget to see further, which incidentally will bounce back on them as a result. But we still can create positive energy and a shift with our everyday actions……..
Thank you for reading this post, and sorry again for letting my thoughts go in all directions….
I wish you all a good week-end
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