Why would someone choose to travel far from home in search of a new life? External factors like war and poverty can provide strong incentives for change. But many people live in war-torn countries, or amid intense poverty and, yet only a small fraction uproot themselves.
In some cases, people lack the resources or freedom to leave where they are. In other cases, they simply choose the familiar over the unknown. But there is another group of people. These are the people who embark on the incredibly difficult challenge of pursuing new lives in faraway lands. They are people willing to forsake the known for the unfamiliar. They are people who desire better lives and marshal the courage to face change. These people, these immigrants, are cut from a different cloth.
Nearly all of us in the United States are immigrants, or descend from immigrants. And it’s no coincidence that this nation of immigrants has been the engine for global entrepreneurial innovation. Indeed, when you put all those restless and determined people in one place, some pretty amazing things happen. And those amazing things happen because these are people unwilling to sit still; people unwilling to tolerate the status quo. These are people who are agents of change in their own lives, and in the world around them.