In response to today’s One Word Promt ‘Punishment‘
We have all experienced punishment in life. We have all been punished by parents, teachers, siblings, colleagues, even friends and partners. Some of us have been punished by the law too. And in moments of utter despair, we have even felt punished by life itself.
I have never believed in punishment. I don’t think punishment teaches a person the value of doing the right thing, it simply instills fear of a certain consequence, thereby devaluing doing the wrong thing. So in comparison doing the right still becomes better but in absolute terms its value remains unchanged. The world cannot become a better place unless all people value the right things in absolutely high regard.
Right and wrong can also be subjective, and something that was considered wrong until yesterday may become right today, like same sex marriage. In my opinion, as long as an action doesn’t cause any harm to others and does not deprive them of their rights, it can be considered right. If a person chooses to marry another person of same sex, she or he is not hurting anyone nor is this person taking away someone else’s rights. People have a freedom to have their own opinion but they don’t have the freedom to enforce their opinion on others. So if they are offended by an action that goes against their belief, the action itself or its owner cannot be condemned for the offense.
I moved to America nine years ago and in so doing, I did not hurt anyone or deprive them of their freedom or rights. I lived here legally for those nine year, again, never getting in anyone’s way. But did I have the same rights and freedom in return? No. I have been forcibly turned into an illegal immigrant now who is too poor to live here and too poor to go back. Everything I worked hard to achieve has been taken away from me. I called this place home throughout my adult life but today I don’t know where to go or who to turn to. And what, you may ask, have I been punished for?
Immigrants, as Mr. Trump would have you believe are lowlifes who commit crimes. Perhaps I was one such immigrant. But no, I wasn’t. I came here legally, I went to a university, I am a graduate and a certified Project Management Professional, and a volunteer with local charities- I am an honorable person. I am being punished for filing a discrimination complaint against an unscrupulous employer. My trial is next month but I am not even allowed to stay to attend that. But I plan to stay anyway. It will not matter if I win, because the goverment will still consider me illegal. But at least I will go back with some sense of faith in America. If not in its immigration system, at least in it judiciary system.
That is my punishment.
If you would like to know more about my story, or would like to support me by sharing my story, please consider getting a copy of my memoir, Foreinger, from Amazon (here). I don’t want America to hate immigrants without knowing the whole truth. I want people to know just how we suffer for wanting to love this country. I will go back but please don’t let me disappear.