Essays, poems and Stories of an African-American

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Firmness has made America, but pragmatism continues to mould it

In the US of A there are right hand side steered vehicles as well as soccer!

I was riding down this very big road. Why big? Well I originally come from another country where by all standards this road I happen to be riding on to and fro may be of sub-urban nature here but in my original country it is first class asphalt! Where was I? Oh, yes!

America-USA- is a very powerful country and there is no doubt it is the greatest nation in the world even now. Belief in constitutionalism, belief in creating a critical mass of systems that in turn are accessed by the masses to improve on their livelihoods, the tendency to regulate but at the same time ensure a promise of more tomorrow, the peace and belief held by Americans and those within the borders of USA that no one will take away their life, happiness and property is so palpable. That is firm!

So, I was riding down this road and a large ‘semi’ passes by at the posted speed in settled areas. I came to a next street and a white United States Postal Services (USPS) van with a blue eagle taking off halted. The driver was on the right hand side. It struck me as odd. I wondered why I was dwelling on that issue but at the same time had to be focused on the road. Then all of a sudden, a voice inside me was telling me: ‘that was a Right Hand Side (RHD) steered vehicle in USA.’I had to stop and look for another minute or two. There are actually Right-Hand Side steered vehicles in USA!

The pragmatic side of the USPS RHD Vehicles: they enable the easy distribution of letters or parcels even without the deliverer getting out of the vehicle.
I got to the library and immediately opened my e-mail to read mails. I had one inviting me to a soccer match where our program students are part of the soccer clubs of the area. I do volunteer as a teacher, counsellor and mentor. This has helped me to be part of the microcosmic space that eventually makes up the diversity that US of A is known for. I have even polished up my French so that am able to conduct halting conversation with some of my French speaking students who are learning English and the American way.

I want to learn to follow baseball and American football. I used to play a version of cricket, soft-ball and dodge the ball but I was always wondering why all of us were chasing after a ball or trying hard to dirten ourselves! I got a book on American Football, one day I even opted to listen to an American Football coach who was also a retired US Marine Colonel at a party. This meant I missed out on the barbeque! I still have not got the rules. All I see are chest puffed up players, with motor-bike helmets, sheen guards, so many lines and popcorns! Perhaps it is the popcorns that will motivate me. I do like popcorns. Anyway, soccer I can follow so is basket-ball.

This diversity in games; expression; getting together; ability to use technologies that are in other countries and; a compatibility of persons and systems makes US of A, a great country. These are the traditions, the culture and they will never go away. This is what makes America what it is.