Saturday, September 19, 2009

AberAsian (Losing Touch)

One of my old OpEd pieces, in which I discuss what it means to stick to your roots and your cultural identity. Read and if you got something in say, drop me a line in the comments

First, an explanation of the term: it is coined, from the fact that most Asian teens are seen donning some form of the Abercrombie and Fitch apparel. And the fact they typically display the intellectual capacity of a stereotypical Valley kid(in other words, dumb as a rock.). From my vantage point, they're also served to display the rather upsetting lack of culture and connection most people have with their roots, in this modern society. 

Everyone around the world seems more concerned with the problems of major celebrities, than with the troubles that face them everyday. A 22' rim seems to have higher value, than the history and customs of their mother/fatherland. Even something as basic as family togetherness is lost in the shuffle of things that are new and shiny. Everything must be fast and responsive, or it is not even acknowledged. Why walk, when you can ride a bike? Why ride a bike, when you can drive? Why drive, when you can have someone do it for you? Ease of use, convenience, and simplicity seem to be the mantra of this overtly complex world we live in everyday.

We can't do the things we did in our childhood, no matter how enjoyable and fun they may be. As we grow, society says we have to shed the things we've held onto then, and let newer, more mature things become us. Don't express, it's ultimately pointless. Don't stand out, then you'll have no friends or influence. Don't speak out, then everybody's gonna hate your guts. In this slow and painful transformation, we become what they consider to be upstanding, respectable, and someone that could have the car(s) they want, go to the places they want, and meet the people they want. All of it can be yours, if you choose to climb the ladder. Unlike many, though, I choose to leave the ladder, for the other attention starved fools to cling on to.

I wear clothes, if they are comfortable(unless my stylist chooses otherwise for me). I do things, because I like them. I'm who I am, because I chose to be it. If I do fall under category, it is coincidence, and never deliberate. I may or may not unique, but I am in no way trying to be anyone else. I am not you, you are not me. I can be the best me, I can possibly be. My roots are stained in despair and regret, but they make me who I am, and I choose to not sever them. They make me strong, and they will give me the strength and will to rise above and beyond. I am not, and never will be a part of the crowd, but choose to be it's observer, offering my words to those brave enough to seek me out. And with my skills, it is my hope to get others, to do the same.

Find your roots. Know your past, and find the will and capability to fully comprehend it. Do not choose to hide your true self behind a mask of vanity, and materialism. Our things do not, and should not make us their own. Rather, we make them into extensions of ourselves, and our own beings, if we find the strength not to fall under it's spell, and allure. Nothing can take away who are we, if we choose not to allow it. It is our decision, whether we want to fall into the crowd, or stand on the strength of our own two legs. Strength may come in numbers, but the group's chain is only as strong as it's weakest link. 

1 comment:

  1. Nice work. This is something that always comes up in the conversations between me and my roomie.(Whom before we met was awash in these reinforced stereotypes) She always wondered why it was that I never found any solace in what so many seem to find by shopping at the same stores. She was also knocked silly by my so-called inability to make easy friends in the area. I explained to her how the value of identity is something that must be found in the self, and not in what others impose. And ever since, it's been a fascinating ride just observing her changes. Sure she sometimes treats herself to a few Korean/Chinese princess tendencies, but nevertheless has a greater sense of self awareness that wasn't there three years ago. She more often sees views unpopular with thorough examination, and questions the herd. Her love of languages has helped immensely,giving her means to take on multiple viewpoints. It is sometimes stunning to see so many on autopilot that it truly feels as if one must walk around with sledgehammers, be them economic, intellectual, and figurative. It is far more rewarding to seek rather than to be given, and I hope this will remain as something I can do for myself as well as others.