It’s really hard to stay away from blogging when I have so many ideas to share and the whole wide world as a potential audience. Not that I have that many readers, but still…. Blogging gives one the opportunity to spout off about something she feels strongly about, ideas she’s been considering, and just plain old news updates. And you don’t have to have anyone to edit your work or give you advice or permission to post it. So here goes.
Lately one of the things I hear about just about every single day of my life is the fact that we have so many people in America who don’t speak English and who, in fact, are not even citizens (many of them). I usually keep my mouth shut tight because there are no easy answers to this growing “issue.” A few weeks ago DH and I traded in my trusty Camry for a Highlander (my dream car), and the man who worked with us was from India. I know because he told us so. His accent was still strong although he’s been in the states for a couple of decades. DH got a little annoyed at first and said something like, “With all of the people working here, we get stuck with a person who’s not even American.”
“He is American, Dear,” I said sweetly.
“Well, okay, then someone who doesn’t even speak English,” he countered.
“He does speak English,” I hissed.
“Yes, but I can’t understand a word he says with that accent of his.”
“Don’t you think you have an accent and that he might have a problem understanding you? Besides, Hon, you just need to get over it because this is the way it is.”
The gentleman was effective, courteous, and knowledgeable, and within a very short period of time we walked out of CARMAX with everything taken care of…and I do mean everything. All I have to do now is pay for the shiny red Highlander every month.
Anyway, this conversation and others like it were on my mind last week when I was re-reading parts of the Old Testament, specifically some verses in Exodus. Within a short space of fifteen minutes, I came across three admonitions from God himself to the Israelites not to mistreat aliens. Actually, the version of the scriptures I was using was not the King James version; that version uses the word “strangers” instead of “aliens.” Still, the message is the same. Don’t mistreat or deal unkindly with people who are strangers or aliens, for as the Israelites were reminded, we were once aliens in Egypt…in a sense, that is. If not you, then your forefathers and foremothers.
So the message is, “Get over it, Folks. This country is not exclusively YOUR country. This is not to say that I don’t think aliens, strangers, and foreigners (whatever that means) should “do as the Romans do” and learn to speak English, get a job, and pay taxes because I do. That’s a subject for another day…or maybe later today depending on how things unfold.