Every culture is unique in its own way. Yet, each shares common attributes, and similar desires. In fact, a report in the GALLUP Management Journal (October 2007) found that people in countries all over the world had but one wish, it wasn’t love or money, food or shelter, safety or peace; it was the desire for a good job.
The same report stated that America's Gross Domestic Product exceeds that of all other countries (despite pessimistic projections by leading economists). How did America manage to earn first place with a GDP of $13 trillion? By encouraging 1000 entrepreneurs to "do their own thing," and in this prosperous melting pot, we find that half those entrepreneurs were immigrants from other countries. America is not only the place to find a good job; it is also where immigrants and citizens alike create good jobs for so many others.
The mosaic that is America truly is the result of such migration, and that migration makes us appreciate our cultural differences.
Josephine M. Perini, President of the Board of the Rochester International Council, is someone who works to extend this cultural appreciation — with visitors, if not actual immigrants. She is the Director of the International Visitor Leadership Program, a premier exchange program of the Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. As a volunteer, she has hosted hundreds of International Visitors during the last ten years. She notes, "Although each one of the various delegations is unique and diverse, the common thread is the desire to share their culture and learn about American culture. My hope is that these exchanges will lead to world understanding and ultimately world peace."
Through the appreciation of other cultures, and the extension of economic opportunities, we create an environment that allows entrepreneurship to thrive. We can make the #1 wish in the world come true for not only native-born Americans but for the immigrants we so wisely welcome to our shores by ensuring prosperity, peace, and fair treatment for all.