Cultural Loneliness and Living in America

 

Recently, a phenomenon that has been ongoing for years has been brought to my attention by a professor. This particular professor is an immigrant and was speaking about how they often feel a type of loneliness, when tragic events happen in their country of origin. This statement really made me begin to think about how many people this must happen to who live in the United States all the time.

There have been many tragic events all over the world, from things like earthquakes and hurricanes to things like civil wars or oppression. The United States, as we have been taught for years, is a “Melting Pot”. Which means, many people from many different cultures live here and move here each year. The phenomenon that my professor was speaking about effects many of these people, and often.

When both good and bad things happen in these people’s country of origin there is a certain loneliness that they feel about having the emotions they do. When they share sad or even happy news with their American friends it may be almost impossible for those friends to understand or match that excitement or grief level. Which can create a sense of loneliness for the person.

I believe that Americans as a whole who have friends who identify with a different culture need to try to be more culturally competent. We need to attempt to reach out with even more empathy than we are already giving. We need to not let things leave our news cycles so quickly after they happen, even if they didn’t happen within this country. If we are going to claim we are a melting pot then we have to take other cultures tragedies into consideration as well as our own. These people who have come here should not have to feel this loneliness and instead should feel embraced by the people around them and should feel that they know those people will try to understand from their perspective as well as they can.