This archived article was written by: Kaina Ellas
When I was a child, I used to watch translated movies all the time after school, and at least 80 percent were produced in the United States. The image those movies built inside me was a fictional Hollywood-ian way of how it feels to be American. From high school comedies to presidential actions, I believed that the U.S was the place where everything happens. I also thought that it was unreachable to me.
For the majority of my life in Brazil, I never thought that I would one day be studying at the U.S., nor in Utah, since I did not even know that it was a thing. That feeling came across my mind once again when I arrived in the U.S. Not from my mind, but from my fellow colleagues at the school, who could not locate several countries on a world map when asked to. Not that I could, but errors like “Brazil borders with Spain” or pointing Brazil where China is, were not errors I was expecting. It came to a point where a friend told me that it does not matter, because she would never leave the U.S. so why bother about other countries.
It was then, I realized I was happy for not being born in the U.S. Don’t get me wrong, the U.S is an amazing country. I’ve been loving every single experience and opportunity given to me so far, but if I wasn’t I born overseas, my desire to literally go out and know the world could not be true.
From another perspective, I have been told that being born in a Third World country can be harsh on one’s life. It can indeed, but it is by living such life that people evolve and even get more empathy towards one another. It was by living so long in a country under development that I realized how lucky I am for everything I have, from my family to my friends, from my education to my job.
And after realizing that, I see how unlucky many people are. People are born in places with natural disasters happening constantly: poverty, hunger and violence. Those people, especially children, don’t have any chance to compete with others, and whether we want or not, we are losing with that as well. Like the astro-physicist Neil Degrasse Tyson once said, “We could have the next Newton born in some undeveloped country in Africa, but we will never be blessed with his achievements because currently he is more worried with surviving than doing science.”
Personally, I have so much to thank the U.S. for I would not be as happy and satisfied with who I am if I was not here. However, at the same time, I am grateful for not being born here, that helped me to become who I am now.
The only thing I would like to point out or even suggest, to whomever is reading this is that regardless of where you are from, the world is much bigger than that. There are countless opportunities and experiences waiting for you as long as you can leave your comfort zone and find how other people’s lives are different from yours. Different points of view are always welcome for those who wish to grow.