Three Continents - the Same Me

You could think that I have an identity crisis! I speak five languages - Two African languages and English, Spanish and French, and I speak and write the three European languages to about the same high level. I was born and bred in Africa and got my first university degree there.

I then continued my education in Europe (Spain), where I acquired another undergraduate degree, and then a graduate degree. 

I finally came to the U.S. and got two more graduate degrees, and briefly became an Assistant Professor in a prestigious U.S. university, before becoming a social science researcher at a state agency.

I have spent half of my life away from where I was born, after going through really hard economic times in Africa, and a relatively improved social situation as a student in Europe and the U.S.  I now have a relatively stable professional career in the U.S., and I feel that I have achieved most of my original professional goals.

This unusual perspective of three "lives" on three continents under three social circumstances where I spoke the local languages in each circumstance (making it possible for me to have real first-hand experiences on each continent), have allowed me to realized that people in different situations on different continents still have similar aspirations even if the aspirations appear different from the outside.

My biggest goal as an African child may have been to have a goat that I can milk for food and sell its off-spring to buy school uniforms and go to school.  My biggest goal as a student in Europe may have been to get a European government scholarship (earned through my grades), to allow me to study in the professional area that would allow me to become a professional in my chosen field. My biggest goal as a recent graduate in America may have been to get all the help possible that would provide the exposure that leads to landing my desired career opportunity.

While these goals look very different, with some looking far more trivial than others, since I was the same person that lived through all of them, I can assure you that they were all of equal importance at the moment when they mattered, and that each one contributed to the next opportunity.  Any help I was able to get while seeking one of them was absolutely essential to eventually getting the next opportunity. 

That is why my writing prompt is:  "I want to ensure that my life on this solar rock helps make life in general worth the trouble", because I benefitted from such a philosophy myself, and it was wonderful for me.

Navaanu Navaanu
46-50, M
3 Responses Sep 15, 2006

the troubles in your world are directly related to you as an individual. The famine that you hear of in your world represents the same famine you experienced in your mind, all apologies, but this type of neglect is perminent, along with such other forms of neglect and 'sins' (as religious fanatics call them). This neglect for your world will equate in your own eventual self-destruction. want to make life worth the trouble? want to live forever? then step into the light befor you die in your physical world.

I am touched by your story, Earth creature: a crying bloody shame that your planet is scheduled for demolition...<br />
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I kid, I kid (Hitchhiker, anyone?).<br />
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I hope that others contribute the stories of their successes (I'm on my way to doing the same soon) so that we may learn the only way humans do: lather, rinse, repeat.<br />
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Noone learns anything through failure but how NOT to do something.<br />
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It is enlightening for me to read the words of someone who gets the Truth. Keep writing.