An unfriendly chill passed over her as she boarded off the plane into a land of the unknown. A white snowy substance covered the ground as she wandered; a sight so abnormal for a young African. She migrated from the warm comfort of the African sun to a nation cold and heartless like the weather. All alone, she migrated to Toronto in the mid-eighties with barely a cent to her name. All she had was her determination and perseverance to be something, anything for that matter. Like many, she was compelled to move in search of basic livelihood as a result of displaced forces beyond her control, even though her actions seemed like a voluntarily decision – they truly were not. My mother is the epitome of inspiration.
In our society, we have been conditioned to believe that despite our diverse nationalities, and even class; our Canadian heritage acts as an umbrella of equality, and that all our individual differences are embraced rather than frowned upon. However, what society fails to clarify is that, that is all a lie. In reality, our individual social markers such as the fact that we are descendants of immigrants’ hovers above our heads like a dark cloud, that allow particular social markers to define our fates within society. Rather than challenging these social markers and raising up, we have instead decided to become self-interested or have wasted the priority of taking advantage of these western countries.
Now, like many of my other fellow first-generation descendants, it is disheartening and shameful to see what we have all become. It seems as though we have all forgotten the struggles our parents had endure to all us to become successful and educated individuals. My generation known to many as “Generation Me” is one of utter selfishness. We have become a generation tempted by harmful influences of our new home nations, while spending the majority of our lives attempting to resemble the typical native-born population while losing the culture that sets us apart. It seems like the more I grow up, the more I appear to be realizing that second generation immigrants seem to be more and more detached from the initial goals of their parents migration. The blatant obliviousness of why our parents left their homes for us seems to be evident. Rather than aiding our families by putting other siblings through university debt-free or helping ease the economic load of our parents by aiding with groceries but rather we, the second generation children seem to have adapted the selfishness of the ‘me’ generation all while belittling our parents sacrifice.
I write this post to remind my community that we are much more intelligent, beautiful and talented than what we give ourselves credit for. We are capable of being more than a statistic and it is time that we step into the shoes that are rightfully ours – for our parent’s sake.