Coffee Hour with Beat

More than 25 years ago, I moved from Switzerland to the United States of America.

Well, to be honest after about 6 months in Florida I got homesick for Switzerland, I did not miss the mountains that much, because I knew that Florida was flat and hot, what I really missed was being able to live in a town where one can live, learn, work and play and I was irritated by the fact that everything one wanted to do, like going to a coffee shop, a grocery store, a movie theater required you to drive, sometimes even for miles.

In my hometown Zurich back in Switzerland, you do not need a car, you can truly live, learn, work, and play within a square mile.

Today while spending time on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean many times I am asked which do you like better Switzerland or Orlando.

Well truly being home in both worlds I love both. There are clearly differences.

While the United States and Switzerland are the only western countries that have never had a king and incorporate both the concept of direct democracy, i.e. have states with a great degree of independence (in Switzerland called Cantons) and both countries have a Senate and a House of Representatives (in CH Staenderat and Nationalrat). However, there is one important difference. Compared to Switzerland, the United States of America celebrates its pride of patriotism far more openly and visibly than Switzerland.

Every morning our school children stand up and pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, the national anthem is played proudly at many sport and other events and in Avalon Park every Friday, the US Flag is part of every community and many homes. This is something I truly admire in the United States.

I travel the world, and it is normal for me to be a few days every month in Europe, at times Asia or Australia as well. You may have seen negative comments about the US in foreign, and domestic as well, media outlets. Don’t believe the media, talk to the people directly and you will easily find that people all over the world by and large admire the United States. As a matter of fact, in many countries which have been considered our political “opponents,” have many people that would love to live in the United States of America.

Sometimes people in the US and abroad wonder if the AMERICAN DREAM is still alive. The concept of all things are possible in America if you are willing to work hard, be determined, law obeying, and really want to achieve your goals.

Wherever I am I tell them all things are possible in America if your dream is strong enough and if you are willing to work for your goals. No matter what your starting point is, you have every chance to make your dreams come true in America.

I am grateful that more than a quarter-century ago I was welcomed in the United States of America as an Immigrant, I was accepted as I am, able to pursue BIG dreams. I am very thankful to America and its people, and any time I have a chance to promote the US abroad, I do.

This year has undoubtedly been a difficult year all over the world.

When asked if, despite COVID 19, should we have fireworks in Avalon Park on July 4th….my initial answer was immediately: ABSO- LUTELY. After discussing with many community members and leaders, we have determined to forgo the fireworks this Fourth of July. While we will not be celebrating together as we have for the past 20 years, we will be together in spirit, celebrating our great country!

I am proud to be able to live, learn, work, and play in America. We look forward to a time in the near future where we can gather together as a community.

 

Beat Kahli