Chinese New Year in China is like Christmas time for the West! Families come together once again, give gifts, and share delicious meals together. There is a noticeable change in the way that even strangers treat one another, with more kindness and consideration than before.
I have loved every minute of sharing the joy and excitement of the Chinese people. As “foreigners” in China, we have celebrated a myriad of holidays. First, our traditional American holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and now a traditional Chinese holiday! I joking said to my husband the other day, “We have the benefit of a second New Year! I’m not yet lost on my resolutions!”
So here I am now making this public for some personal accountability. My singular resolution, as the holiday season timed with the political events well, was to pray more in general, but specifically for our nation, for her citizens, my fellow citizens, for her unity, for her leaders, and our new president.
Observing from a far, and yet through the internet and social media, directly involved, I have been disheartened by the recent political and social unrest. But not surprised. To an extent, this is the nature of government, because it is human. But I am strengthened in my resolve to increase my prayer for our country.
Though mostly unserious, the thought came to me that, “maybe we should just stay in China”. But China has her problems too. Problems that we in American have not had to experience. Deep philosophical problems that do real harm and cause much suffering to her people. Ones that we need to be vigilant and aware of within our own country. Issues that we need to address if we want to build a just society.
It’s work to engage others whose ideas you disagree with, especially to do so with charity in your heart. I admit that I often fail to do so. Sometimes, I want to fight; other times to become apathetic. Neither is a solution. Nor is the answer to compromise convictions. Rather ours is to love one another, to engage, to discuss, and to disagree at times. To come to conclusions that respect human nature and dignity. We are all Americans.
Reflecting on my heritage and history, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I am Chinese-American, an immigrant, but these things do not solely define me. Of course they are a part of me but we cannot create a world where experience or identity is the basis for legitimacy. Experience and identity are not in themselves bad but seeking Truth must be the ideal.