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Archive for the ‘Life Philosophy’ Category

There are No Victims

19 Feb

I know it’s tempting, I know that people often think it, but I don’t think it’s true.

The whole victim gig. You know the one? I’m a victim, so love me, cherish me, give me lots of love and praise. But what do you get? You only receive pity and pity does not feel like love.

What? There are no victims in the world, how about the recent California fires? They were not victims, they were survivors. The people who died, yes, they are dead, but they were not victims either. Especially if the people who are alive still survived and talked about, it came to their funerals and learned something from that experience.

African Americans. They are not victims. They are activists. They rose up, talked about their oppression and are still trying to overcome it. If you are doing something about it, are you a victim? Do you call Martin Luther King Jr. a Victim? Gandhi a victim? Malcolm X a victim? I don’t. I don’t call many of the people in the adoption community victims either. I call them activists. And activists are quite different things. They fight to make their present condition known. They fight to make people alive and aware of their surroundings. They fight to make someone else besides themselves not to be in the same position as they are now. And that last one makes all the difference.

The difference between a victim and an activist is a victim thinks only of themselves, but does nothing to improve their surroundings. An activist goes out and fights.

I may complain. I may bitch and moan. But I do things for myself and others to make sure that no one else ends up in the same exact position I am in, and even if it is not no one else, I am a voice out there to be of support, to make reason out of bad surroundings. I want to be an activist. If someone calls me an angry, bitter adoptee and tries to dismiss me I know I am hitting the right spots.

You would have to dismember me, take out my lips and tongue, take off my eyelids, and leave me as a comatose person before I will give up. But someone will help to make sure in my place that I am still not a victim. They will remember who I was and say something and do something with what I have to make sure that every last bit of me was worth something.

It is better than being silent and letting injustices go on. I will be someone who learns from my bad experiences and does something when the world around me isn’t right. I will also learn from the experiences of others and fight to make someone’s tomorrow, even if it’s not my own better.

There are no victims in this world. Only people who complain and receive pity. It is OK to complain if you plan to do something about it. So are you planning to do something about it?

 
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Posted in Life Philosophy

 

Cultural Anthropology

19 Feb

Growing up, I knew a little to nothing about Korea. I think that Cultural Anthropology helped to open the window for me to understand Korea through a better context, giving me a new mind set to understand the problems of Korea and the larger social problems that ended up both making me be born and me being adopted.

Cultural Anthropology taught me a way to understand culture without judgment and taught me how to deal with culture shock–ask more questions. It also helped me to learn Korean, process the cultural items I saw in Korean dramas and figure out if that part of the drama was part of culture, or part of the art I was experiencing.

I was grateful to Cultural Anthropology that I made it one of my two majors. I wanted to go into cultural anthropology to understand the prejudice that was launched at me. I wanted to be able to sort what was Japan without the stereotypes of Japan. I wanted to understand China and answer some cosmic questions I had about human nature since I was very little.

What is human nature? Is it evil? Is it good? Is there one morality in the world? How do you navigate between the “perfect” morality and plain prejudice? Is there a way?

Cultural Anthropology helped me to understand relativism in a new way. And this fed my inner writer too. This help feed how I could write a character that was totally immoral and still justify it through other means. This helped me understand the kids that teased me through grade school and see a bigger picture of the good and bad of humanity.

Ultimately, Cultural Anthropology gave me a way to understand humanity itself and feel connected to the planet that I breathe on. It gave me a sense of being connected to this large vast universe and a way to understand myself, who was caught between cultures and ways of being more.

 
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Posted in Life Philosophy, Mi-ism

 

Definition of Maturity

19 Feb

I see maturity as having four parts. One, Know yourself, two is to face yourself, three is to Stand up for yourself and four is to take responsibility for yourself.

This is for United States culture. It is not universal.

However, this doesn’t mean they will accomplish anything out of life. To do this they need to know society, their current place in society, their life fulfilling goal, how to get to that goal, and be willing to fight for the place they want to go.

This might seem an easy part, but I can spot the majority of the population, including myself and say that we often lack these things or lack this kind of focus. Some of us learn to be financially responsible, even build up families and never face ourselves emotionally or stop to look around us.

I work hard on taking responsibility and standing up for myself. Sometimes I’m not sure when to take action. I will admit that I don’t take physical responsibility of my surroundings that well. I take intellectual and emotional responsibility, yes, but I sometimes ignore the physical world as a result.

Sometimes we all just go through life completely lost and never accomplish what we need.

However, I feel I was forced to work through being mature a lot faster because if I wanted to meet Appa, then I realized from a young age that I had to know who I was and accept that part of myself. This took a good twenty years of constant work once I realized this. I felt that I had to do it faster than anyone else, which I think, sometimes alienated me from my peers.

I learned that I sucked at standing up for myself after having two bad boyfriends. After I had trouble standing up for myself and not finding the right ways of doing it in culturally appropriate ways.

Maybe adoption has given me direction and purpose to my life in its own twisted way. because I knew I was lost because of adoption, I felt that I needed to fix it and fill the gap just like my loss of culture. I needed to grow up mature. I needed to fulfill the promises I made to myself as a little girl and I fought with everything I had to get there.

I don’t think being mature means being perfect. I think it means the child we ere without filters or understanding on how to deal with the world, the one that had goals all along, is given direction on how to approach and do that properly, face people and situations within the cultural standards of society. That doesn’t mean a one hundred percent mature person by my definitions would be always likable. They can conduct themselves in an appropriate manner and still manage to insult someone or something they don’t like.

I don’t think either that a person stops maturing. I think people mature as they learn and grow more and more like themselves. That is part of maturing… becoming more like the person you really are without fear, deep-seated anger, and defining yourself by those emotions. You stop maturing when you are dead, or by Buddhist, Hindu and other reincarnation belief systems until you reach or we all reach a place like Nirvana. Forever making mistakes and coming back to try to correct them.

I think through adoption and forcing that maturity on myself, even as I mess it up at times and get lost, I have learned to grow beyond what I thought were my borders and limitations and see a greater world that’s far more beautiful that I originally thought. Maturity may be filters to understand the world, but understanding the world more and more only makes it more beautiful to me than ugly and that’s a gift I’d be willing to work a lifetime for.

 

Buddhist Temple

25 Feb


After the Kimchi museum we got in the car and Ajumma asked us what we wanted to do next. The tension in the car–I knew anyone could spot it. It was alike a sledgehammer pounding into the neighbors. I knew that Ajumma was picking up on these issues and knew that I was not very happy. She’s super intuitive. And at the time I wished my Mom would honor intuition. I was full of resentment and anger. Not only for the events of Building 63, but all of the rejection I felt from that event.

I called out Dad twice to ask him what he’d like to do and my Mom answered for him twice, using we, which just served to piss me off even more considering the events of Building 63. I passively aggressively snapped at her, “I asked Dad. Are you my Dad?” My Dad finally answered that he didn’t know what he’d like to do. I suggested maybe looking at Korean pottery or something like that. He said that the Kimchi Museum was enough for now and he’d seen other pots.

So Ajumma, sensing this suggested a Buddhist temple nearby. She is not Buddhist herself, but in the East there tends to be less exclusion like there is in the West of other religions. It’s kind of like recognizing there is a function. I was really pissed off and it took a lot of power to keep my voice from shaking.

Ajumma insisted I go into the temples in that Korean way that my parents couldn’t read. Ajumma is the best. She knew what I needed even though I didn’t really know I needed it.

We went to the temple, and Ajumma commented that it was Buddha’s birthday. That’s why there were prayers and the red lanterns. Being resentful, I was further annoyed at my mom’s continued, “You have to like me now” mode. I call it her Shiny Wall. It’s like June Cleaver mixed with the threat of the Stepford wives. What’s worse is that she doesn’t know she’s doing it half the time. So I wandered ahead and tried to separate from them to give myself time to cool off. My mom hated that. (Switch of modes.) So wherever I went they also went.

I resented them talking when people were praying even in low voices like tourists. I tried to pretend I was not with them and did a little meditation-0-because I was taught in Hinduism class to do so. Also in acting classes–I knew the basics. first get rid of aches and pains, find your center ground, reach out to hear everything, then slowly close everything off one by one until you reach yourself. After you reach yourself, be aware of everything about yourself, then work on shutting everything from your toes up until you’re in your mind only. Adjust discomforts along the way. Once you have attained just your mind then start cutting off all other thoughts within it. Cut off the anger, emotions and feelings and try to attain the nothingness. If you have a question you want to ask yourself, this is the time to do so. In respect to the people around me I asked Buddha for a type of enlightenment. But my parents kept talking so I wandered to try to find a place to meditate.

 

I started again.  I decided to take a mat and ask Buddha for wisdom. I’m not a Buddhist, but I think sitting in front of a statue of a person that was supposed to hold so much wisdom, I was hoping it would help out.

My parents chatted in front of the statue which was rude. Even if it’s light chit chat, you shouldn’t talk in front of a figure while others are trying to pay and meditate. I chose to meditate. Because it is respect.

I asked Buddha for tolerance and the ability to get through this leg of the trip safely. I started again, and this time I asked Buddha for tolerance for myself and the ability to get through this leg of the trip safely.

If you see other people meditating–it’s politer to not say anything at all.

 
 
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