Yesterday I met a woman who moved to the US for a better life. She moved to the US from a small African country years ago. Everyone she knows idolizes America, the land of wealth and opportunity.
She spoke about when she first arrived here, and a family member took her to visit a few homeless shelters. He wanted her to see that life isn’t perfect here, and everyone isn’t rich.
She makes more money, but she works so much harder. Back at home she wouldn’t be working 12 hr shift. She makes more money, but most of what she makes is sent to family back at home. She works minimum wage in America, but her family sees her as a meal ticket.
If you live in the US, you have an idea of what life is like on minimum wage. It’s anything but extravagant. You’re often barely able to meet the cost of living, and you have to obtain government assistance to get by. Many of the jobs that pay minimum wage require more physical labor and undesirable conditions. You work harder for less. People may look down on you and treat you like a servant.
She said that family members in her home country often use the ones who move to America. They waste the money that they send, because they think it was so easy to obtain. So easy to get more of. Sometimes they use it to live extravagant lives. Meanwhile their family member is struggling in America and they’d never believe it.
She said that she wishes she could trade places with her family members. If they came to America, they would see that it’s different than what they believe. The sadness and disappointment in her eyes was clear. She really misses home and would move back in a heartbeat.
Her home country is one of the poorest countries in the world. She currently lives in one of the richest countries in the world, but she would rather move back to her home country. From a first world country, to a third world country. It goes against everything we’re taught here, and apparently what they’re taught in her country.
All I can say is that life is so complex.