A Point of View By Paul Montesino

My Secret Seed for the Fourth of July.
A Point of View © 1996.
By Paul V. Montesino, PhD, MBA,CSP.

On March 27, 1962, as I was undergoing the routine abusive and intrusive questions at Jose Marti’s International Airport in Havana, Cuba, trying to catch one of the freedom flights to the USA, I kept saying to the idiot, idiot as in “commie,”  who was questioning me, that I was hiding nothing from the authorities. Of course, I failed to acknowledge that I had a driver’s license and further that I didn’t own the 1957 Dodge car I was driving and selling months before, the latter lie related logically to the former.

When I arrived in Miami hours later, I offered the same response to the immigration officers who questioned me in a friendlier manner. I didn’t have nefarious plans, but I must tell you today that I lied on both occasions. Hidden in one of my pockets I had a secret seed. It was not an explosive seed or a regular seed, at least not one I could sow and plant on the ground expecting to reap a tree and fruits to go with it quickly. 

That seed was actually my American dream and my search for freedom and prosperity, a seed difficult to see and still more difficult to follow unless you also believed in the idea. Many more, Cubans or nationals from other lands, have brought a similar seed with them when they came to America since the days we opened our borders to immigrants.

Next week most of us will join family and friends under the shadow of a tree to consume hot dogs, fries, and beverages to celebrate the 1776 birth of the American nation. There will be games and parades that will provide sunny colors and music to the lives of cities and towns all over America. It has not been a two hundred- and forty-eight-year easy history. There have been internal civil wars and external world wars, and there are hardly cemeteries in America without buried bones of the many who gave their lives to give life to an updated version of that history, a seed to grow a new tree.

Whether it was freeing the slaves, giving the vote to women, practicing human rights, or stopping foreign dictators from killing others who were different or thought different, the American dream has consistently delivered.

For me, there were many American dreams I tried to reach, and many were achieved: Starting to work at a Boston bank founded in 1995 where no one knew me, but all trusted me; becoming the first Latino Boston banking officer of record in 1970 and Senior Vice President several years later; obtaining several college degrees that allowed me to transfer my experience and education unto a full-time faculty sixteen-year career after retiring from the bank. And last, but not least, providing the patience and motivation to write and publish fifty-eight e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers, or audiobooks at Amazon.com. I couldn’t have squeezed my pocket seed much more.

As we watch the many new seed holders who approach our borders holding the hands of loved ones who have never been really free or carrying infants who still have not grown to be free, we ought to squeeze the seed we brought with ourselves before and try to see if we can get it to produce the tree needed to give them refuge. The doors to America were still open when we joined the freedom party. Our land of liberty was and is still fertile today.
      Happy Fourth of July. God bless our troops. God bless the United States.
      And that’s my Point of View Today. So Long.

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