America is no longer a country of immigrants. This unfortunate situation has nothing to do with borders or immigration policies, but the death of the spirit that made this country great.
The word immigrant has been ruined by politicization. When we think of immigrant we tend to see the poor and the wretched. many immigrants in fact are poor and wretched—that's why they're immigrating.
On the political left we hear about the tragedies of immigrants as they came to America and on the political right we hear about the criminalities of immigrants as they come to America.
On this episode I'll be attempting to rejuvenate that spirit for you through poetry. Our two poems today are both by the Kipling of America, Berton Braley. "Opportunity" And "The Pioneers."
And although we are no longer the nation of immigrants, in this episode, through the story of one of Americas most important modern immigrants, I will show you how to instill the spirit of a true emigrant and pioneer.
by Berton Braley
With doubt and dismay you are smitten
You think there's no chance for you, son?
Why, the best books haven't been written
The best race hasn't been run,
The best score hasn't been made yet,
The best song hasn't been sung,
The best tune hasn't been played yet,
Cheer up, for the world is young!
No chance? Why the world is just eager
For things that you ought to create
Its store of true wealth is still meagre
Its needs are incessant and great,
It yearns for more power and beauty
More laughter and love and romance,
More loyalty, labor and duty,
No chance- why there's nothing but chance!
For the best verse hasn't been rhymed yet,
The best house hasn't been planned,
The highest peak hasn't been climbed yet,
The mightiest rivers aren't spanned,
Don't worry and fret, faint hearted,
The chances have just begun,
For the Best jobs haven't been started,
The Best work hasn't been done.
by Berton Braley
They're the "utterly foolish dreamers,"
Who dream of a better day;
They're not the plotters and schemers
Who work for glory and pay,
But with confidence undiminished
They dream of a world made new,
And after their days are finished
The wonderful dream comes true!
They're the fighters who fight undaunted
For the utterly hopeless cause,
Ridiculed, jeered, and taunted,
With never a lull or pause;
But after they've fought and perished,
And after their work is done,
The cause they have loved and cherished
Is lifted to fame -- and won!
They know the hope and the yearning,
The sting of the blind world's scorn,
But never the sunshine burning,
The skies of their visioned morn;
They're the warriors fine and splendid,
The fond and the faithful few,
Whose battles and work are ended,
Or ever the dreams came true!