“How am I gonna be an optimist about this?”

Fox wanted to play golf today, so we went to the chipping green of a local golf course. There was only one other golfer on the chipping green who seemed upset that we were disturbing his practice. He mumbled somethings under his breath when Fox screamed, “I hit it in the hole, Daddy!”

Fox Golfing

Fox minding his own business

Finally, he said in a stern voice, “Go back to China.”

Normally, this would have set me off because:

  • I’m 4th generation Japanese American, so even if I went “back to China,” I wouldn’t know anyone or how to speak the language.
  • My father died for this country on his second tour of duty in Vietnam.
  • My maternal grandfather worked his whole life for the US Postal Service in Hawaii even though he was an engineer because his supervisor threatened to have him and his family sent back to Japan if he ever left the Post Office.

But this time, I barely lifted an eyebrow. I kept focusing on Fox’s joy and happiness.

“I can’t stand these…”

I’m not sure if this comment was at our ethnicity or our age because I had stopped paying attention.

More than anything, I felt compassion for this angry individual. I thought about all the ways, he was making his life hell:

  • He was turning a beautiful day at the golf course into a battleground.
  • He had forgotten the sympathetic joy of watching young children play.
  • He hadn’t learned to appreciate the gift of cultural diversity in America–the Pho restaurants, acupuncture clinics, tai chi in the park, and cricket in the schoolyards.

I noticed two things as he huffed off the course:

  • I felt no animosity or activation in my sympathetic nervous system. My shoulders were relaxed and my mind was at peace. Even now as I write this, I am very calm and objective.
  • 4 year old Fox had no idea what had just happened. He was too concerned with chasing around the white balls that were “so awesome.” He was simply minding his own business.

I really feel that my meditation practice, Interchange Counseling, Bloggers for Peace, and authentic blogging towards self actualization are having a profound effect on my psyche and my spirit.

Later in the day, I teared up singing the chorus to Bastille’s song “Pompeii”:

But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing’s changed at all?

And if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like you’ve been here before?

How am  I gonna be an optimist about this?

Optimism in the face of certain destruction. That is the kind of redemptive love that I want to embody. I want to take all the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” so that no one else has to suffer. I want to embrace the racist, sexist bigots and tell them that they are loved.

Call me a dreamer, but I know I’m not the only one.

Thank you for reading, smiling, and sharing.

Do you still tear up singing pop songs? Which ones? Please share.


One Billion Rising

Here is a video from another student at Interchange Counseling Institute. I honor Lucy, her story, her courage, her creativity, and her compassion. Last year, Eve Ensler’s amazing panel “Breaking the Male Code: After Steubenville, A Call to Action” changed the course of my life. I am grateful to be on a path that intersects with such amazing souls.

“ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE is a global call to women survivors of violence and those who love them to gather safely in community outside places where they are entitled to justice. It is a call to survivors to break the silence and release their stories – politically, spiritually, outrageously – through art, dance, marches, ritual, song, spoken word, testimonies and whatever way feels right.
Our stories have been buried, denied, erased, altered, and minimized by patriarchal systems that allow impunity to reign. Justice begins when we speak, release, and acknowledge the truth in solidarity and community. ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE is an invitation to break free from confinement, obligation, shame, guilt, grief, pain, humiliation, rage, and bondage.
The campaign is a recognition that we cannot end violence against women without looking at the intersection of poverty, racism, war, the plunder of the environment, capitalism, imperialism, and patriarchy. Impunity lives at the heart of these interlocking forces. It is a call to bring on revolutionary justice.” onebillionrising.org