Posts Tagged ‘politicians’

When I lived in Southern California I had the most wonderful dentist. Loved going each and every time. I wouldn’t be lying if I said it felt like I was visiting family. Everyone always asking about the kids. Even asking about Thumper the dog. The staff had been the same for years. Never any new faces. That’s very telling.

She was actually my neighbor -lived about five doors up from us. But I never saw her in the neighborhood so we caught up during my appointments.

Kind, funny, smart, beautiful on the inside and outside.

And she was a refugee.

When she was just five years old her parents, four siblings and a ton of other family members boarded a boat to escape Vietnam. No idea where they were going but the Dad knew they had to flee.

She told me she could remember being in a sack and thumping her head on the bottom of the boat.

They were rescued at sea, after floating for days amidst bombs, by a ship and soon found refuge in the United States. A Catholic Church in the Midwest sponsored them.

Sadly, her mom died from cancer some time after they arrived in the U.S.

Dad, a physician, ended up doing a fine job raising his children.

My dentist originally was pre-Med but once completed decided on dentistry. Her father had five children. All chose medicine or dentistry.  That’s a bunch of Drs. in just one family.

That is truly a success story. Against many odds.

Being a doctor might not necessarily be everyone’s idea of the pinnacle of success. We all know a profession is not the whole person. Doesn’t make you a better person or a person who is better than anyone else. But it is a wonderful accomplishment, an honorable profession and requires tremendous hard work. For anyone but especially for folks who start off fighting the odds without the usual support systems in place.

During the recent elections I read that a woman said her candidate would win if only the people whose four grandparents were born in the U.S. would vote.

I pondered that one. And I’d say she was probably right on the money.

But what she missed with that statement was that we all should be reminded that America has always been a nation of immigrants and refugees. Always. Even folks whose four grandparents (or great grandparents) were born in the U.S. have immigrant blood coursing through their veins.


My dentist arrived in a boat. Fleeing murder and mayhem. No papers. No nothing.

It was only through the goodness and generosity of the American people and a church community that allowed her family to not just survive the ordeal but to flourish. To serve the greater community. To become respectable, outstanding, tax paying citizens.

This story just reminds me of why I always loved my country. Her essence. The goodness, generosity and community of the people. Candidates and politicians come and go but I have every hope that the essence of America will and should remain the same.










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I remember when Rory was applying to colleges and writing the essays that had to shriek, “Pick me! Pick me! I am soooo unique! You want me!” Because that is what they are expected to do. Spend all their time trying to be unique as possible. And put it in writing. Come university application time.

NYU, a wonderful, happening school with a cool vibe in the middle of New York City, asked her to write about a famous New Yorker.

Well, that required a bit of thought. She asked her cousins in New York for some feedback on interesting characters. She also asked me.

And really, who comes to mind when we are asked a question like this? The usual writers? Glitterati? Intelligentsia? Artists? Politicians? Gangsters? Oops, I already said that when I mentioned politicians.

Anyway, in the end, she chose her own New Yorker.

Stuart Little. The tiny mouse from E.B. White’s beloved story.

I loved it. She ended the essay by stating that it just really doesn’t matter how little you might be. You can still do great things.  Or something to that effect.

True that.

But I found that the underlying message in this exercise was the importance of thinking outside the box. Don’t grab onto the first idea. Or other people’s ideas. The common thought. Allow for some different and creative thinking.

Because you might do great things.  You really could change the world. No matter how little you might be.

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