Failing in America Since 1663

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Both sides of my family came to this country in the 1600’s.  They came in search of new beginnings and a better life. I used to view them coming over in the infancy of our new nation with pride.  Like they were heroes, fearless pioneers on the cusp of history.  But in reality, they must have been total losers.  If they had been chilling out in their country house in England, in the hot tub, drinking beers, eating mutton, they wouldn’t have needed to go check out the new colonies that were forming in Virginia.

This was the 1600’s and it was not easy getting over here.  Even for white people.  You had to climb on a creaky, wooden sailboat, survive storms, malnutrition, scurvy, seasickness, childbirth, and maybe, if the winds were right and your captain wasn’t drunk, you would arrive in the New World.  And simply surviving the harrowing passage of the Atlantic was no assurance of success.  Once in America, people were dropping like flies.  Dying of starvation, freezing to death. Dying in childbirth, of flu, pneumonia, small pox, and diseases we can't even think on mentioning. There were new diseases they didn’t have the immunities to deal with. There was loneliness, isolation, and loss of family.  It’s a miracle any of them survived.  And taking all of this into account, when the time came to leave Europe my family was like, “Sign me up.” 

So were we brave? Were we crazy? Were pawns? Were we canon fodder? Or were we just people who said...Fuck it? If I die, if it all goes bad, at least it wasn't in one place. At least I won't die saying if only I had gone to America. Because what if I had made it? What if I tackled all the odds? What if I just got on board that ship, ahhh, I could be on top of the world. That's the price of greatness-failure. And this country allows more people the opportunity to fail then any other country in the history of the earth.

God Bless the USA

 

 

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