The Heroes In Our Lives
Bruce Lee showed me my strength and limitlessness
Jeremy Lin showed me fearlessness
Ichiro showed me determination and consistency
Yuri Kochiyama showed me empathy and compassion
Searching YouTube, I stumbled upon a video titled “The First Game of ‘Linsanity’”. Being susceptible to wasting time on YouTube, I end up watching highlights from three of the games Jeremy Lin was a real life superhero. The more I watched him score, my pride as an Asian American grew exponentially. This kid was having his way on the court; dropping dimes, pulling up burying midrange and three point jumpers, and cutting to the hoop. He orchestrated that New York offense fearlessly. As an Asian American, I had forgotten how powerful watching “Linsanity” was. I could feel my eyes water as I thought about all the young kids that found a hero/role model back in 2012. I might just have been one of them.
How powerful it is to see someone like you grace the big screen, the oval office, a basketball court, a court of law, or a page in your history textbook? Role Models have the power to ignite something powerful inside young people. Give them the belief that they matter and they can realize their full potential. For myself, I wanted to be Ichiro of the Seattle Mariners. I was amazed at the way he could so effortlessly track down fly balls, throw out baserunners, and steal bases. Why did I choose Ichiro as my hero when there were so many other players in Seattle that showcased the same type of skill? (Most notably the G.O.A.T, Ken Griffey Jr.) I watched many players with dazzling skill, but the fact that he was a Japanese man that could do all these things made me believe I could too. He spoke my language and his movements revealed a cultural familiarity that was deeper personal. My mind was decided, I was going to be a baseball player.
Everyone deserves to see themselves participating in any story, we need our role models.
This is what I want my 2017 to be about; inspiring and being inspired. As I kid, Ichiro gave me the audacity to say I want to become a Major League Baseball player. Now as a young adult, I look forward to being inspired every day by Asian creatives in the diaspora envisioning futures, pushing boundaries, and creating outside the mainstream. I also hope that I can inspire others to find their own greatness locked inside of them through the work I curate.
To a year full of success, love, laughter, and joy. 乾杯！！
“I am alive, I am here, I am trying. That is enough” – Dele Olanubi