Born in India and registered as a New Zealand citizen, Ajay has lived in America for two years. Given his wide range of experiences in America and the world, I thought his interview would be a good one to share. Below are excerpts from our conversation, with edits made for clarity.
On why he is a good member of American society:
Yes, I am a good member of American society. I respect the laws, and I am an equal opportunity person. I don’t believe in racism. Creed, caste – nothing. I am a peace-loving person. I am very driven by business, and the values of creativity and capitalism that America is so known for.
On whether his neighbors are:
Yes, my neighbors are good members of American society. They’re very hard-working. And more or less the same reasons; they’re very fair people.
On the keys to being a good American:
Hard-work. A belief in fairness. A belief in Capitalism. Creativity and innovation – America leads the world in these things.
On whether Americans of opposite political parties would say that members of the other group are good citizens:
Absolutely not. Because doing so (saying that people are good citizens) doesn’t serve their purpose of winning the election.
On what it means to live in America:
Opportunities are endless here. Your ideas, your creativity are accepted. What you can achieve in American seldom can be achieved in other countries. It’d take a lot more struggle, challenges to achieve the same things in another country. So America is great for business; great for science; great for creativity.
On why Americans need to appreciate their national identity more:
I think Americans don’t realize how fortunate they are. Holding an American passport is such a great thing in the world. Americans have acceptance, except for in maybe a few countries. It’s a respected citizenship globally. Not many citizens in the world have the access to that. So, I think that being an American is a passport to success. You, Americans, take it for granted. To be a better American, everyone should appreciate it more.