Opportunities, Advantages in United States not the same in North Korea

Columnist and Columnist

“Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

That’s one of my favorite quotes from “The Great Gatsby” and I use it with purpose.

A few days ago my iPhone interrupted my early morning dreaming to give me a news notice that North Korea had just tested four more missiles. The whole time I was in limbo processing the news. I questioned why a country so isolated from the rest of the world cares to take more action in further separating itself. After all, let’s face it. North Korea isn’t known for its human rights or diplomacy, and unlike Iran, economic sanctions have failed to bring the country’s nuclear program to a halt.

But that doesn’t mean North Korea is without potential. The country hosts some of the smartest and most driven individuals of today. Unfortunately, its government suffers from brain drain which depletes the nation of its inner talent as they leave to countries with more opportunity.

As individuals who represent opportunity, should we Americans push for government reform in foreign countries when they inhibit opportunity and freedoms? Where does America’s greatness lie? It’s not in putting a man on the moon or being creators of the fattest nation on the planet. Our greatness lies in creating opportunity, and creating the American dream.

Now, I realize that not all countries were designed for capitalism or democracy. But that doesn’t mean that in today’s age, we should still face the challenge of making different forms of government work together on an international scale.

In order to create prosperity worldwide, we need to compromise. Simply hearing world leaders claim that they aren’t open to compromising doesn’t show strength, it shows stubbornness, which can be interpreted as weakness. Just like character flaws we witness within the people we interact with, stubbornness can be among the most unappealing traits.

Meanwhile, while countries like North Korea dig their people into further poverty, people throughout the United States continue to complain about their way of life. It almost seems like a daily ritual to bash the government, or complain about how they’re disadvantaged.

At the end of the day, the reality is that many American college students are just lazy. If we didn’t live in a country that was fueled by capitalism, we wouldn’t have as many opportunities as we see today. International students throughout the world are competing on a global scale and are motivated by political factors to gain admission into American schools to get a taste of that American greatness which is known as opportunity.

So, the next time you consider blaming a professor for your poor performance, think about the idea that almost any North Korean student would kill to be in your position sitting where the American dream lives, and where your opportunities and potentials are only limited to yourself.