Immigrants on the Threshold

Immigrants on the Threshold

Immigrants on the Threshold

Immigrants on the Threshold

Excerpt

It may be trite to remark that the present is a transition point between the past and the future. Certain situations in the course of events, however, are sometimes singled out as indicating an interval of special significance between what came before and what will come after. Sometimes these situations are formally definable, such as the birth of a child or the day of a wedding ceremony; graduation from a high school or university in the United States is termed "commencement." The bar mizvah in the Jewish religion and similar rites in other cultures are taken to indicate that childhood is formally terminated and that from now on the boy is to be a responsible person in his own right. Less institutionalized interstitial periods occur idiosyncratically in the lives of individual persons and may often be judged turning points in their careers--the death of a loved one, promotion on the job, an inspiring lecture.

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