President’s Message

Complaining and the Eyes of an Immigrant

There is something good about complaining. It feels nice to identify something unpleasant and its negative effect on us. Identifying it and talking about it gives us a
release and in some ways that process dampens its damaging effect. I feel totally justified to complain about our political system and this or that politician.

Everything is becoming so expensive; it’s ridiculous. And not to mention the weather!
Soon it’s going to be too hot or too wet or too cold. The system is working against us.
The rich are getting richer on the backs of us the 99% who are finding it more and
more difficult to survive. Then there are those problems immigrants are creating. And oh my God – the growing crime! I don’t feel safe anywhere anymore. I complain about this
family member and that person at work. Then there is my health issue; I seem to be
getting older! And there are those irresponsible and disrespectful kids who don’t know how to communicate.

We seem to be wired to feast on the buffet of complaints because it makes us feel good. But sometimes it’s rewarding to sidentify things we take for granted because that could also make us feel really good. For example, many places do not have the freedom of speech that we enjoy. We could be imprisoned and or tortured and even executed for criticizing our government in North Korea, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and in some cases, the punishment extends to members our family. China has a large network of
internet police to monitor and sensor online discussions. They also have s a social credit
system where citizens are monitored and assigned a score based on their activity, and
those with low scores can be restricted in travel, loans and job opportunities. In Singapore you can be arrested for jaywalking, littering or spitting, and chewing gum is banned. Homosexuality is illegal in Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and United Arab Emirates, and such criminals can be punished by imprisonment and even death. People from these and other countries leave their families and risk their lives to come to America because of its opportunities to work and be paid, living conditions, education , and our healthy environment. And while we are far from perfect, we do have a constitution which aims to protect our freedom of speech,
freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly , equal protection under the law, the right to privacy and the right to a fair trial.

While it may feel nice to complain, standing back and viewing our world through the eyes of an immigrant provides a different perspective.
–Markly Wilson