By Prabhas KC.
Over two decades ago, a new couple received their green card, permitting them a life in the United States of America.
The couple could have easily stayed in their comfort zone, stayed in Nepal, and stayed where their family was.
But they knew that what lay in their hands was an opportunity: the opportunity for a better future.
It wouldn’t be an easy decision, to leave everyone behind and move to a foreign country.
Nothing was promised in the US either, there was no lucrative job offer or promised work.
Yet, the couple took the risk and left the only home they knew.
My biggest takeaway from their decision to come to America is that this was never for them.
It was for me.
I wasn’t even born yet, but my parents knew that by coming to America, the proclaimed “Land of Opportunity,” they could provide their future children with just that: opportunity.
When I was young, I would watch my mom come home after 11-hour work shifts.
I would often ask myself, how does she do it?
I didn’t understand where she found the strength to keep on working.
How did she wake up at 4:30 in the morning, while I slept unbothered in my room, to go to her tiring and thankless job?
Where did she find the strength!
But now I understand.
Because all those times I would see my mother come home from work, she would see me.
And I was the reminder to her.
My future was where she found the strength to go another day.
My potential success was enough for her to keep working to provide for us.
It’s similar for my father.
Someone who lost both parents at a young age.
It would be easy, and understandable, for him to not find meaning in this life.
And yet, as cruel as life had been, he continued to move forward in life.
That everything he endured, everything he lost, would not break him.
It would rather make him more grateful.
Many of my American friends ask me why I work hard or why I dream so big.
They ask me why I never feel satisfied with the achievements I have gotten.
And my answer to them is simple, “You wouldn’t understand.”
How could they?
The rationale is that, in their late 20s, my parents left everything they knew to come to a new country and start life over.
The pain they suffered, the long hours they worked, the paycheck to paycheck life.
How could I be satisfied?
It took me a long time to understand the depth of my parent’s decision.
That my life could have been drastically different, or more likely have never even existed had they chosen the most comfortable option and stayed in Nepal.
And there are no words that could capture my gratitude to my parents.
There are no Hallmark Cards that describe the significance of their decision.
I live my life grateful for the opportunity to be here, to be alive.
But I am not satisfied with where I am.
No, I am absolutely hungry for the best life I can achieve.
Hungry for success and to reach the highest level I can get to.
To be able to become a testament that risk does pay off.
That the sacrifices, the tears shed, the pain, the loneliness my parents suffered all gave me the chance to be here.
So, being average, following the status quo and enjoying small victories do not entertain me.
This article is titled “A lesson never spoken” and in simple terms it refers to the lesson that I have learned these past few years.
It is simply: an opportunity to succeed does not come easy and thus should never be mistreated.
It is a lesson that my opportunities to become successful all stem from a decision my parents made over two decades ago.
And I would be a fool to let my chance at a better life slip away.
Because then I am not only letting myself down, I am failing everything I stand for.
If playing it safe, staying satisfied with being average, and not taking risks to advance life was the mindset my parents had in the past, then I wouldn’t be here today.
So, to them, I say thank you. And to myself, I say let’s keep on going.