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Before I came to the US I will admit that I did not know much about America. So I availed myself of some of the research material that was around. I learned the basics, its geographic location etc.
But I also learned the Land Of The Brave could be referred to by a few letters or words uniquely put together. Words and letters such as: The U.S. U.S.A. The United States of America, North America and of course, America. Although I had little to go on as far as learning about the many people who call the U.S. home, I found myself turning to a distinctive reference tool: the television.
American television shows have been captivating audiences around the world for years and even though most of these shows, (save for the network news pieces or the real life situations that have been made into movies) come to us through a genre known as fiction, when you have so little reference material to go by, one might start believing the fiction on the small screen.
For example, let’s take the Lifetime channel. Most of the movies or series on there depict a great empathy and sympathy for women. So say a person who has not spent any great amount of time in the US is watching a movie on the Lifetime network about say, spousal abuse.
Said viewer may be surprised to learn that some people in America do abuse their mates. Or take a romantic show about people who think living together is fine without the intrusion of marriage. Suddenly some people in other countries might start thinking just because they see Americans living together, it might be all right fro them, the foreigners, to do so as well. Or it might not be uncommon to hear someone from another country say: ‘If Americans can do it (whatever one considers ‘it’ to be) so can I…’
Believe it or not, in this day of the power of the influence of television and or cable television, there are some foreigners who use the actions of Americans, be those actions fact or fiction as their moral compass, or right from wrong gauge.
But after spending some time here, I have come to learn one universal truth. Just like there are some good and bad people in other countries in the world, so are there in the US.
There are people here who care deeply about their kids just like people in any other country, just like there are some people who look down on the ‘living together’ concept the same way many people who are in other countries do.
So if you are a foreigner who wants to come to America and think, judging from the fiction you see on the television, that it might not be all that, do come, but keep an open mind.
For once you step away from the wonders of the tele, you may be surprised to learn that there are many people here who are just like people where you come from. People who are: morally good, caring, respectable, kind, and generous. Do not allow the fiction you see on the television to tell you how most Americans are.
Turn off the tele, and come here and see for yourself that there are people here who are just like you and me.
Peace and unity begin with all of us- Judy Ramsook