With the recent and tragic murder of George Floyd, along with the subsequent nationwide protests and destruction of private property, livelihoods, and innocent lives, I am paralyzed in thought and action. As a natural fixer, I ask myself, what is the solution? When I was young, I would rush headlong and spout off a solution, without first understanding the problem, and then move on. I have since learned that to really solve a problem, you have to first understand the problem, which, in this case, is extremely complex and currently raw to the touch.
As a person who is a follower of Christ, the life I have been called to has placed me in many different areas of leadership throughout my life. Areas such as a business owner, homeschool advocate, F3 Quality Control officer (you’ll only understand this one if you show up to one my workouts), church officer, board member, mentor, husband, and father. As an American Born Chinese man, or ABC, (seriously, that is what we called ourselves in the 80s) growing up in the black and white gumbo of New Orleans, I have a unique perspective. Specifically, due to the color of my skin, I am not seen as a threat to either ethnicity because there is no historical ‘bad blood’. Unfortunately, that was not the case for my parents in the wake of WW2, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. In 2020, I am a safe person to be around so black and white people openly share with me their candid viewpoints about racism, racial inequality, injustice, cultural advantages, and the such. One of the greatest takeaways I have gleaned from those conversations is that I first needed to humble myself to listen to their personal stories and learn from their life experiences while acknowledging my own biases and blind spots (a condition we all face due to the fall). If we really want to love our neighbor as ourselves, we need to be deliberate about making time to listen and learn from people who do not look like us, think like us, or live like us.
Currently, one of my greatest leadership roles is living out the high calling of fatherhood to my five mixed-race children. I struggle to be consistent and intentional about teaching them to live lives of compassion, humility, and mercy but holding them in equal tension with justice, righteousness, and responsibility. I am not entirely sure how to instill all those character traits but there is a famous quote by Edwin Paxton Hood which gives me some insight into the strategy I should implement. He stated, “Be as careful of the books you read,” (or media you consume) “as of the company you keep; for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as the latter.”
Standing up to injustice, holding people accountable for their actions, alleviating suffering, etc. does not just happen because I hope for it. It takes shape because of what is learned and put into action. It takes servant leadership! If you are looking for resources as you embark on this journey in cultivating compassion and instilling virtue in you and your children, here is a great place to begin.
Soli Deo Gloria
President, Homeschool Louisiana
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4