Lesson from a Taxi Driver

I seriously take too many things that my parents gave me for granted. The fact that my parents immigrated to America to provide my siblings and me the opportunity to pursue higher education, to give us the freedom to choose what we wish to do simply amazes me…Everything that I have–my ability to think, my heritage, my background, my beliefs–can be traced back to my parents and their tireless efforts.

I never realized nor appreciated my parents as much until I was riding to the airport from Berkeley last month on one of my grad school visitation weekends. The cab driver (let’s call him J) was rather friendly and disclosed how despite how hard business is these days for his line of work, he aspires to raise a family in America so that his children can have the same opportunities as I do (i.e. getting into great grad schools in preparation for higher-paying and more respectable jobs). He made me realize the numerous sacrifices that my parents and other immigrants had to make to come to America in pursuit of opportunity not only for them but for their children. Not only did they have to learn a new language, but they also had to earn their citizenship, work honestly, and raise a family in an entirely foreign nation. They hoped that their children would not have to experience the misfortunes they underwent as youths in other countries. They hoped that their children would have a brighter future.

It’s people like J that make me realize how grateful I should be for my parents. For all the invisible blood, sweat, tears, and agony they had to experience to get me and my siblings to where we are today. Thanks, J, for reminding me of that. I love you, Mom and Dad. ❤