Thursday, June 25, 2009

Indian Student & The American Dream

No, I will not be writing about Indian students settling or willing to settle in America. But I would surely be writing about what an Indian student does to pursue ‘The American Dream’.

For those of you who think that the above two sentences are contradictory, let me tell something about American Dream to dispel the ambiguity.

According to historian and writer James Truslow Adams (who actually coined the term) in his 1931 book Epic of America:

“The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.”

So, the big question…….. What does an Indian student do to pursue ‘the American Dream’? As far as my answer is concerned, I think that an Indian student does a lot to pursue the American dream but effectively, it adds to very little. So, another contradiction here. How can the sincere efforts put by us add to almost nothing effectively?

Because in defining American Dream, James T Adams further added:

“It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”

So, where does the Indian student find himself in the above definition? Nowhere!! Simply, Nowhere!!

Most of the Indian students choose to pursue engineering or management just to fulfill their dreams of motor cars and high wages. The desire to attain to the fullest stature of what one is innately capable of is lost in the early childhood when a sweet innocent child is asked by parents and teachers to focus on subjects like Science and Maths as these are the ones which would help her to secure a healthy career.

So, what should one do? Take a career path which guarantees no job or has less chances of success? Choose to remain poor dreaming and hoping of earning more someday, while leaving the easy and simple (and legal too) option to earn a good amount of dough?

Most of us, if not all, would say it’s foolish to choose to remain poor if we can become rich. But here, I would like to quote something once written by Rashmi Bansal in one of her blogposts:

“There is no romance in poverty but conversely: Is there any in large bank balances built up on jobs which don't engage or excite us?”

Earning money by fair means is good and important too. But the point of greater importance is that the work we do should make us richer every day, not only in terms of money in the pocket but also in term of satisfaction in the heart. And I guess nobody would disagree with the fact that even all the money in this world can’t buy a little bit of satisfaction in the heart.

And most importantly, if one believes in oneself and puts sincere effort, success is bound to come sooner or later, perhaps sooner.

We dream of making our country one of the economic superpowers in a few decades and may be the dream comes true very soon. But what’s the benefit of living in an economic superpower where there is no joy on the faces of people when they go for work. And how can such a bored workforce take the country to the pinnacle of prosperity?

If there are a lot of hardships which poverty or deficiency offers, there is also the boredom which ‘satiety because of abundance of everything’ offers. In such a situation, it becomes really really important for us, the Indian students, to choose our careers which help us realize and attain our fullest potential instead of just increasing the weight of our wallets.

And to conclude, America is a superpower because the Americans strived for ‘The American Dream’ and not ‘The Money Dream’. It’s up to us which dream we want to pursue.

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