I was reading an article about The Dream Act and Illegal Immigration today and I was struck by the comments that some people made in response to the article.  It is amazing to me how one-sided some people think.  There is simply no thought as to what happens if you follow a path all the way to the right or all the way to the left.   Are we not capable of finding solutions to problems that are without some form of emotionally charged rhetoric? 

The issue surrounding the Dream Act suggests that we should not be deporting certain immigrants that have come here illegally.  We should be providing some of these folks opportunity to remain in the U.S., get a great education and attempt to become productive American citizens.  It is being suggested that those immigrants that have come here as children or those that have served in our military, should not be penalized or deported.   Typically however, when we are speaking about this segment of the population, we are speaking about immigrants families that are here as laborers or some type of service worker. 

Although I am actually somewhat a fan of the Dream Act concept, I struggle with the basic idea that we need to put so much effort towards inducing these folks to stay here.  For those that are stating that these young people are “stealing education opportunities for American young people’, all I can say is; REALLY?  Have you see the success rate of our k-12 school systems?  I am so disappointed that we are not able to produce a larger number of educated young citizens that are eager to contribute to the growth our economy.  You have to sit back and wonder how this is even possible.  We have the best universities in the world and yet, our young people are either not going to school or not finishing what schooling they have started.  We have to find ways to invest in our teachers and education systems. We absolutely have to find ways to get our young people excited about learning and even more excited about what this country can offer them as educated members of society. 

On the issue of illegal immigrants “stealing all of our jobs”.  Once again all I have to say is, REALLY?   When was the last time you saw a large group American workers lining up at a farm to apply for work in the fields or apply for work that does not have the best pay in the world?  The answer is, they are not.     

It is interesting; I have had opportunities to meet with some of these immigrant workers over the years.  The folks that I have met were not making high wages or working a few hours a week.  They were working long and hard, doing jobs that most of us would not even consider working.  The interesting part to me is that they are happy to be doing the work.  They even somehow seem to find ways to send money back to their families.  They are so filled with pride in the work that they do. 

We have a pride issue in America.  Some of us are simply not willing to do the work.  We would rather apply for some type of assistance from the government than change our lifestyle or develop the skills necessary to find work.  Even worse, when some of us actually have a job, we seem to treat it with distain.  

This frustrates me more than anything.  Recently I was at a coffee shop ordering a coffee and a bagel for breakfast.  The people working in this coffee shop seemed to be completely disturbed that I stopped by for my breakfast!  They barely acknowledged that I was standing in front of them offering to my hard earned money in return for my coffee.  

This makes you wonder what we are teaching our young people about expectations.  Are we teaching them that because they are Americans, anything that they want should simply be handed over to them?  I don’t think that tis is the case, but it sure seems that way when you watch some people working in what they might consider a sub-optimal job. 

How about this for a crazy idea?  Be thankful that you have a job.  Show some pride in your work. Do your very best at whatever task is provided to you.  You would be surprised at what can happen.   Actually, there should be no surprise at all.  In America, we have example after example after example, of hard working people that have started at the very bottom and worked their way up to great success.  

Let me be clear, I certainly understand that we are going through a very difficult time here in America, but not withstanding our current economic condition, we need to remember that we live in a country with tremendous opportunities for those that are willing to put their best efforts forward. 

The benefits that come from taking pride in your work not only will have an excellent economic impact on your paycheck, but also provide countless additional benefits to your family, your community and the future of our country. 

Find your Pride!