Thursday, July 4, 2013

How I Lived the American Dream This Week

Act #185:  Celebrate your piece of the pie.  Commit to making sure there's enough to go around.

As we make plans for our multi-racial, bi-lingual, inter-generational, interfaith, Appal-Asian family to partake in the quintessential all-American July 4th tradition of ooh-ing and ah-ing over our small town's firework display tonight, I can't help but reflect on just how all-American we really are. 

With all the complaining I do about our collective need to hold ourselves accountable to higher standards of equality, compassion, and non-violence, at the heart of it all, I still consider myself incredibly fortunate to live in a society that (most of the time), seems to carve out a meaningful space and place for an ordinary brown, female like me.

Over the last five days I basked in the warm sunshine and celebrated love alongside dear friends at our local Pride festival.  I feasted on Greek gyros with my Appalachian in-laws and Japanese bento boxes with my Thai mother.  I accompanied my parents to two different doctor appointments - one with a native Chinese male and the other with an African-American female.  My family visited with a delightful new couple who just moved into town...who both happen to be women.  I bid farewell to our New England, Italian-American friends, whom we've grown so close, that we are referred to as Thai-talian family.  And I contemplated race and gender over fair-trade coffee with a friend and mentor who is the Director of African and African American Studies of our local college.  This month, we will also celebrate the third anniversary of the naturalization of my parents and the sixth birthday of my bi-racial son. 

So while I am so very mindful that we have much work before us to ensure that everyone has the same access to the elusive American dream, today I am pausing to reflect on, and appreciate my little piece of the pie.  God bless an America that has enough love to embrace us all.


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