What My Life Could Have Been Like…

I really thought I would blog more than I actually do, but reality is that I start a lot of blogs but don’t get around to finishing them.  Therefore, I’m dedicating March as “Finish Your Old Blogs” Month.    Here is the first in a series…

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Do you ever wonder how great life would have been if you were born under other circumstances?  I saw a documentary in October 2008 that showed me how my life would have been like if my dad didn’t immigrate to America.  Let me tell you:  it ain’t pretty!

This link will give you a much better summary that I could ever write: 

http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2008/uptheyangtze/about.html

The story centers around two main characters, a poor rural girl and a middle class young man, who find work on the river cruise ship that runs on the Yangtze.  The documentary follows them from life before work, during their jobs, and what happens when their stint is over. 

The girl’s parents farm off their little patch of land outside their hut.  She wants to attend school but doesn’t have good enough grades, so her parents told her she should work on the cruise ship instead to earn money to help out the family.  She was very sad about leaving her family but managed to get a job washing dishes on the cruise ship.  In the mean time, her family and their neighbors were told to move from one side of the Yangtze to the other because the government was building a dam, but they were too poor to move, so they were just waiting things out…  sort of reminds me of New Orleans before Katrina.

From the stories that my father told me, my life in China would have been similar to this girl’s.  My grandfather was a subsistence farmer with very little money.  My dad said that once a year he’d get to eat meat… on his birthday.  When he was 14, he left with an uncle to Panama and then immigrated to the United States when he was in his early 30’s.  About 20 years later, I was born in beautiful San Francisco.

We have so much opportunity in this country, yet it doesn’t seem like it’s being taken advantage of.  That’s why I keep stressing the fact that EVERYONE must get at least a college degree.  I don’t care if you don’t like school, think it’s 4 years’ waste of time, don’t know what you want to do with your life, or whatever.  Pretend it’s mandatory and get it done!  You don’t know what your life will look like 10 years down the line, so you won’t know now how much that degree is going to mean to you later.  You can get that degree, become a stay-at-home mom and feel you wasted your time, but the fact that you got your degree anyway may encourage your daughter to attend med school and find that darn cure for cancer!  There are girls at my daughter’s private school who I think will end up doing make-up, hair, or nails, but I really think they should still get that college degree before they go to beauty school.

The grass is not always greener on the other side.  Anyway, I just bought the documentary, so if anyone wants to view it with me, come on over!