Citizen Isner

November 11, 2016

Posted by Ran Isner

 

On October 31st I passed my citizenship test and am waiting for the swearing in letter to arrive. I must admit that I am very excited about becoming a citizen and I am really looking forward to the ceremony.

I missed voting in this election because I started the process a little late in the year and I have to blame myself for that. I dragged my feet getting the process started because I was still grappling with the idea of becoming a citizen of a country I wasn’t born in and all the guilt I felt about seemingly abandoning my Israeli identity for a new one. I realize now that it doesn’t have to be that way. I will always be an Israeli because I was born there and that’s never going to change, but I also feel such a deep connection to this country. I am raising a family here, I have created a life for myself and my family here and this country is what I call home now.

I am very much involved in the political conversation and the reason i decided to become a citizen was so I can vote in the election because I believe that since I intend to live the rest of my life here I am required to exercise the right to vote and make my voice heard. I have very strong opinions about the path this country should take and what kind of country I would want my children to live it, so even though I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to vote, I was still very much involved in the conversation and was invested in the outcome.

The past couple of days have been very emotional. I won’t lie to you, I felt like I was sucker punched. I was supposed to become a citizen in a time when love was going to win over hate and acceptance was going to win over bigotry, yet somehow the world turned upside down and certainty turned into doubt.

This was how I felt for most of the past two days. How could people be so stupid? How could we have been so wrong and how did we let them win? I felt so much hate and disdain and then I reminded myself that this is not what I stand for. I stand for love and acceptance. I stand for possibility and opportunity. I stand for each and every one on this planet having their own opinion, I may not agree with it but I will respect the person and their right to their opinion. One can’t be against hate when things are going their way and once they don’t, become a hate spewing machine, that’s hypocritical.

I can only bring about change when I become the change myself especially when hate and negativity have such low vibration in the universe. I could sit back, play the victim and complain or actually be a cute in the matter and take action. We don’t live in a bubble where everybody thinks the way we do, there are many different people with many different opinions and our opinions are not more valuable than theirs. We must learn to communicate in a way that promotes a healthy discussion rather than divisive rhetoric.

Many people dream of becoming a citizen of this great nation and I believe that we have a responsibility to be active and willing participants so that we live in a country we can be proud of and also be critical of it when we feel that it is veering of the path. We have a duty and a responsibility to future generation to hand over a country that sets them up for success where its people are able to continue a dialog of peace and acceptance.

Being sworn in and singing the Star Spangled Banner will be one of the proudest moments of my life and I will not take the responsibility of citizenship lightly.

Bless you all and bless these United States!

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