I was over at the Newton County Library browsing through the news magazines when I saw this story, "The first Indian-American Governor has a plan for Louisiana." A Native-American had been elected Governor, I thought. Well, it is about time that those who came to this country first get a voice in how it is run. It is surprising that this hasn't been on the news. Then I read the story.
The governor elect is named Bobby Jindal. He is a second generation American. His parents are immigrants from India. They are ethnic Punjabi people, and Bobby's real name is Amar Raj. In the news article, "Indian-American" was not a reference to Native Americans; it was a reference to people from India who are now Americans. I should have known this. Then, I wondered, why is it that these Indians seem to do so much better than own Indians?
According to the 2000 Census, the median household income of Indian-Americans was $70,708. The national median is $ 50,046. The Native American median household income is only $ 33,627. Indian-Americans are reported to own 50 percent of all economy lodging and 37 percent of all hotels in the U.S. And according to the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, there are close to 41,000 Indian American doctors. Just last month Indra Nooyi, an Indian woman, was named CEO of PepsiCo. Indian-Americans have done very well in America. Why is that?
According to Indian-American business man and Duke University adjunct professor, Vivek Wadhwa, Indian-Americans are successful because of education, family expectations and support, humility, and hard work. Over 63.9 percent of Indians over 25 years old have at least a bachelor's degree, compared with the national average of 24.4 percent. "Indians believe that education is the best way to rise above poverty and hardship." Indian young adults are expected by their families to work hard and to make sacrifices.
According to Mr. Wadhwa, "Leaving social status behind in his home country and working his way up from the bottom of the ladder in an adopted land is a humbling process."
The family has become the support network. Instead of looking for the government to help them out, they are prepared to help each other out.
You see these traits in the Louisiana Governor Elect Bobby Jindal. He has worked hard, graduating with honors from Brown University, attained a master's degree from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and has worked his way up through positions in state and federal government. He was elected to Congress in 2003 and now elected the next governor of Louisiana.
What was it again - education, family expectations and support, humility, and hard work? This formula could work for any family in America trying to get ahead. Instead of looking for the government to do something for you, go to work doing something for yourself. This is also what the Bible teaches. Solomon wrote, "Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty!" (Proverbs 14:23, NLT). The work-ethic of the Indian-Americans is a good reminder to all Americans of what it takes to succeed.