Socrates And Assimilation
As I read “Crito” this week, I could not believe how relevant Socrates’ views on national loyalty were. I immediately began reflecting on immigration to the United States, and how this beautiful nation has been constantly referred to as a “melting pot.” Although the United States is referred to as such, there are still very many distinct cultural communities. As a person of an ethnic background, I have seen newcomers to this nation both embrace the beauty and diversity of the United States and I have also seen some shun it. I have always been disgusted by those who have chosen not to assimilate at all. Not only do some choose not to assimilate, but they will rip apart the many facets of the nation rather than revere all of the opportunities she brings. I do respect those who maintain cultural traditions, but a person must also accept a nation’s many facets if he is to become a real member of her community.
When Socrates’ explained how Athens had provided him everything he had ever wanted and enjoyed of all her resources, I really wanted to give him a high-five. In the words of J.F.K., “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” I feel many come to this nation with the mentality that they will take, and do not consider how they will give back. Socrates explains that even though he may not agree with the majority ideals in Athens’, he has enjoyed her, and by no way has he been forced to stay. Therefore, he will not opt out of society, but embrace his fate as it is the consequence of the life he has freely chosen. So too, should all people embrace the diversity and beauty of the United States. Certainly, there are things about this nation that are imperfect, but being that we are citizens, we must take the good with the bad since we have been offered the chance to utilize all of her resources. In end, like Socrates, I am saying that a citizen should hold unending loyalty to the nation from which he has been given the opportunity to live and thrive.