The Grass Isn’t Always Greener

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.


17 thoughts on “The Grass Isn’t Always Greener

  1. I can so relate to this. My parents moved to Europe from Nigeria to give their kids (us) a better life. They had to work crazy hours and shifts in order to provide for us. Family members are always calling us for money because the conversion rates from Pounds into Naira means they’ll receive substantially. Thats why I aim to be successful, so their hard labour won’t go in vain and they can at least enjoy the fruit of their labour. Loved this, really touched me

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your story! It’s normal in many cultures to take care of extended family members, but unfortunately it’s not normal in my culture. I think the idea that you can attain wealth here makes people so focused on holding on to their money. Literally keeping tabs on a few dollars you borrow. I hope to be a more selfless person. I admire your desire to reward you parents for everything they’ve done for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nel

    As an American citizen, I feel for immigrants. You’re right about the struggle here. America is completely glamorized to the rest of the world. We have so much going on lately especially with our current president and a lot of it is just causing more negativity, hate and violence. The one thing I can say though is believe that there are a lot more positive people in this country than negative; it’s all a matter of finding them because believe me, some of them can change your life for the better 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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