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How One Young Cambodian Immigrant Views Her Surroundings
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 by Frank Shortt
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        Much has been written about America’s problems as more and more immigrants converge on our shores. Often we become chagrined about the problems here and through the eyes of a young Cambodian College Student, it seems that there are some young people who are concerned about the way America is headed. They do not feel that politics is the answer, but an individual awakening!
       This twenty-one year old said, “I remember reading one of your articles called “Questions I Need Answered”. In one of those questions when you asked “Do the majority of parents in America teach morals, decency, and respect?” I was reminded of a time when I was involved in a car accident. To make a long story short, I was totally disrespected by the other party’s husband! The lady, who ran into my car, told me she was sorry she had caused trouble for me and I told her it was okay. The accident occurred in a hospital parking lot last fall. I noticed that she had a child in the car and I asked her if the child was alright as it was a very hot day. I am an emotional person, honestly, and I worried more about the child than I did about the damage to my car. Even though I was really upset about this sudden accident, I really felt bad that her child was crying and suggested that the mom needed to take her to the hospital as soon as possible. The outcome was that each of us contacted our insurance companies right away and my company gave me a paid rental car until such time that mine was repaired. This made it possible for me to travel back and forth to school.”
       She continued, “The insurance company paid one full week for a rental car and if I needed an extension I would have to call the other party to pay for it. When I called the wife to see how she and the child were doing and if they were willing to pay for the rental, her husband picked up the phone. He was so mad at me and accused me of being the one who had caused the problem. He screamed, “You were waiting for my wife to hit your car!” I had no idea why he thought like that! He even threatened me that he would have to press charges against me and that he would not give me a dime for a rental car. He was very aggressive to me but I didn’t really say much back to him or ask for the money or anything. I only wanted to straighten things out. I knew that he was scared, the reason he tried to blackmail me.
        She further replied, “After the call I was traumatized. It left me with many questions. After this I noticed a lot of people who behaved really badly in public and caused harm to innocent people. I would like to say that each of us needs to be a leader and set a good example for people. It is hard to avoid all the criticism from those around us. I think any leader should teach people about morals and respect to each other regardless of race or religion. This is a most important factor and I think that America is in chaos as most people lack morals. Some countries even deem this nation as a cruel country. It is probably because of our indecent behavior toward each other. One example, you may think this is a small matter to me, but one little habitual action can actually affect young people as they grow older. Young people do not care that much about their surroundings. They throw trash down on the ground, curse each other, disrespect their elders and remain ignorant of things they should learn. All these things will affect them in the future and they may have a hard time communicating with their children and family as they grow older. Most of them are concerned about material things and forget that those useless things will not stay with them permanently. I could say more, but I will stop at this point!”
       Some of us in the older generation can feel the frustration of this young lady. It would be amazing to see others who would step forward and be an example to their fellow students. In my travels around the college neighborhood in question, I have actually found three or four who feel this way. Maybe it is contagious!