"The U.S. celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month each May. John F. Kennedy once said: “Our attitude towards immigration reflects our faith in the American ideal.” The American ideal is to recognize the rich cultural diversity of our nation and honor the contributions of all immigrants. Through traditional and social media, in theaters, museums, and parks, various events are organized to draw attention to Asian American and Pacific Islander culture."
May is a time of reflection and appreciation of Asian American and Pacific Islander culture. I think immediately of my parents who immigrated from the Philippines to Hawai'i where I (along with my older brother) was born and raised. I'm so grateful that I got to see them at the beginning of the year while giving back to the community.
My (other) idol, Bruce Lee, comes to mind too. He, in my view, is someone who not only embodies what it means to live a "self-actualized life" - despite living until the age of 32 - but who also transcended race & ethnicity with his rose-colored view of the world.
In December 1971, just less than two years before his untimely death, Bruce did an interview with Pierre Berton. Near the end, Pierre asked Bruce:
"Do you still think of yourself Chinese, or do you ever think of yourself as North American?"
"You know what I want to think of myself? As a human being. Because, I don't want to sound like 'As Confucius say,' but under the sky, under the heaven, man, there is but one family. It just so happens, man, that people are different."
This month, I honor and celebrate AAPI Heritage Month as a proud Filipino/Chinese-American...and as a human being.