Live a Dignified Life
By Sun Yan (Translated by F. Chen)
Today I chatted with a new friend on WeChat. He lives in Beijing. He asked me how long I have been in US.
I told him I’ve lived in the U.S. for about 20 years.
He replied, “There you are living a dignified life!”
This sentence resounded in my ears and my mind.
To me, every human, at the very minimum, should live a dignified life. Similarly, it can also be the highest aspiration in life, because it is unfathomable in many places. A dignified life is the purpose of my immigration to America, and also my whole life’s pursuit. Frankly speaking, I do not have many lofty ideals and aspirations; all I wanted was to live an ordinary and dignified life. I can say that I made it in the United States.
In the United States, I do not have to bend down intentionally to cater any person. I have nothing to do with the authority. I am free and independent. In the United States, I do not have to please my boss with any gift, on the contrary, my boss gives me gifts on holidays. I do not have to ask the boss out for dinner, rather every meal is paid by my boss. I can release my thoughts freely without worrying about whether my thoughts are consistent with the general thoughts. I can write anything I want without worrying about the harmony with others’ opinion. In the United States, I can go straight through the crosswalk with the certainty that any expensive luxury cars would have to salute me. In the United States I do not have to gather favor from my child’s teacher because the teacher and the children are already good friends. In the United States, I do not have to fear the police who I can ask for help when having difficulty. In the United States, I can eat and breath safely without worrying about any toxic. In the United States, I can go shopping at ease, without worry about being frowned upon for not buying stuff. In the United States, I do not have to attend those endless meetings and say anything that would go against my belief.
I want to live is a dignified life, which makes my life plentiful. While we often take these liberties for granted, for someone like me who lived without them for a long time, it is impossible to not appreciate the freedom of a dignified life.
image from Life With One Eye Open