Mijac (Posted by) Level 3
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On Aug. 11, 1985, at the age of 20, I boarded an Air Jamaica aircraft bound for Atlanta. Clutching the hand of my 72-year-old grandmother a little nervously, I was headed for what I still believe to be the greatest and most country on earth: the United States of America. Armed with $120, big dreams for my life and the love of my family, I blew a kiss to the throngs of onlookers in the old rundown wavers gallery who were waving crazily at everybody and nobody in particular — a hangover from the old colonial era — and never once looked back. A few hours later as a newly minted legal immigrant I made a covenant with my new country that in the name of the best and highest in me, I would seek faith in life’s better possibilities. That there would be no obstacles that my indefatigable spirit could not overcome, and that there would be no prejudice that a philosophy of individualism, which characterized the very essence of who I was at my core, could not transcend. This covenant spoke to the stupendous achievements I vowed to accomplish by taking advantage of the plethora of opportunities that I knew would become available to me. This was a moral contract I was making with my new country. It was an ethos of benevolence and goodwill that I would extend to my compatriots, and one that I expected to be reciprocated. The America I anticipated meeting, and the one I have come to know and love, is a country predicated on mutual exchange. I never looked back, and, indeed, fulfilled all of my goals including becoming the author of several books, earning four degrees including a doctorate and becoming a Distinguished Honors professor at a major university. America has...
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