I'm now on the train ride home from my meeting in Los Angeles.
I'm traveling high speed over a network of tracks that criss-cross tens of thousands of miles across the entire country. The sheer engineering that goes in to this, boggles my mind. From what I heard today, they are building a high speed train that will soon travel from San Francisco to San Diego in two hours. I'm in one of the largest cities in the United States and there are currently less than 10 people in my car that probably sits 100. I don't know why more people don't use public transportation. I really love trains. Especially when we're flying by cars that are stuck in traffic. I wish my mother was here. She'd love seeing southern California by rail.
I'm sitting next to a sweet elderly couple. Although I'm not intentionally eavesdropping, I am overhearing a conversation that the wife is having with who I believe is her husband's medical provider. She is pulling out various prescription bottles and reading off dosages. He's been battling nausea and exhaustion. He's losing weight. They are on their way to San Diego to check in to an alternative medicine clinic. They need to try something new because nothing is working. Hopefully this clinic will help because their grandson is getting married next month in Chicago and if he's not feeling better, they won't be able to attend. Sure, I might be a few pounds heavier than I was last year. But I am healthy and I feel great, as do my husband and our four children. For that, I am enormously grateful and couldn't feel more blessed.
Today I met with a variety of government officials. Not a single one of them had white skin. Not a single one of them spoke English as their primary language. Each one of them had names with lots of vowels and they spoke with strong accents. Every one of them was passionate about the job they were tasked to do.
I've got to admit, I was so impressed.
Not just by their rank and obvious passion for work, but by the fact that every single one of them migrated to this country. They took off for a land, far from their home, that was completely unknown. Along the way, they learned how to speak and write English so well that they can effectively understand and communicate highly technical data.
It's my opinion that a vast number of Americans are totally smug when it comes to immigrants. It's like we have a sense of entitlement - or superiority - when in reality, a large number of people that have migrated to this country could run laps around us on the intelligence and motivation track.
Compared to these brave souls who have taken off to pursue their lives in a new and different environment, I feel so sheltered and overly cautious. I've been to Canada and Mexico but the only stamp I have in my passport is from he Bahamas. We've got but only one life to live. So while I still have my good health, I suddenly have an overwhelming desire to travel around the world.