Friday, November 14, 2014

United States Is Not a Panacea

When I went back in Ivory Coast during winter break, the brother of a friend asked me “Do you think it will be good for anyone to go in U.S in order to get a better life?” He was not talking about someone coming here to study, but actually a person looking for a better job, more money. Ironically, this includes doing some works he or she is not willing to do in his/her home country.

I answered that some poor people in Africa live better than some Americans in United States. Talking about that, I was referring to homeless people. Indeed, it is every day that I see someone living in the street and having a caddy (or just nothing) as all their belongings. We tend to think that these people are junkies, alcoholics…that they deserve what’s happening to them. But the truth is that every story is different and that nobody choose to live in the street. I recently discovered The Homeless GoPro Project. This set of videos aims to create more empathy in the world. The initiators’ goal is to dispel myths and build understanding through firsthand perspective.

For my brothers and sisters in Africa, I also want them to understand something else. United States is the country of dreams, possibilities…I can't deny it but America and Europe do not resolve everything. Living in U.S does not always go along with being rich or happy.  

A lot of people are looking for an Eldorado, not only Africans but everyone thinking that grass is greener on the other side. However, we need to understand that going elsewhere does not guarantee a better life. There is a chance that you succeed in your venture but there is also much more chance that you would have been better off trying to improve your life in your home country.

There are a lot of opportunities (I will soon start to share them) in Ivory Coast for the people eager to do something. Maybe they don’t know how to start or they just haven’t understand yet how great they can be. Today I am in U.S because I had the chance to study abroad. But I can’t tell you how much I want to go back in my country to make a change. I have started to understand that it is not always about the place you live but more about what you want to do and how much you actually want it.

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