Traveler – An American Memoir is a personal view of the United States from April 2008 through April 2009. Two events eclipsed all others during this historic time. First, the 2008 collapse of the banking system and the socialist response from the government challenged my understanding of American capitalism. And second, the inauguration of the first African-American president in 2009 just about challenged everyone’s understanding of government, the social contract, and perceived ethnicity. It led me to review American history, examine my own identity, and question what it meant to be an American when compared with other co-opted social and financial systems.
I was born in Pakistan, reared in England, and made my home in America. These three cultures had formed, balanced, and then challenged my worldview. The internal search for meaning to one’s life has a universal theme. The external narrative, however, was still locally based and propagated to maintain the identity of its people. Every continent, country, and county re-enacted a story to pass on to future generations. What were these guiding principles based upon, and were they inclusive of everyone who lived by the law of the land, or were they exclusive only to a class of people and their story?
In April of 2008, I worked for a Fortune 500 corporation. The title on my business card read Technical Trainer. I presented seminars in large cities, small towns, and remote locations throughout the United States. As I traveled and learned more about the American story, I looked for my own among the border lines of three continents. And if I couldn’t find meaning, then I hoped to at least make sense of a chaotic and confusing first decade of the 21st Century.
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