Have you ever wondered how things could be if you had taken a different path? Like for instance, where you would be if you went to a different school, or lived in a different neighborhood, or had a different socio-economic status? How different would things be if you were more outgoing and confident in your ability? What if you never had come in contact with your best friends?
As I sit here reflecting, I think of the strange path that my life has taken, with some events that are so incredibly unique to me, and others that tie me irrevocably to the other people around me. What would have happened if I actually made my high school basketball team’s first string? Would I have still been the geek that I am today? Would I still be, almost nightly, watching every single episode, right after another, of the TV show called “Heroes?” Maybe, perhaps, “Heroes” would not interest me. Maybe “Magic: The Gathering” would wrinkle my nose instead of tingle my senses. Maybe my room would be 15 degrees cooler, because my Xbox and TV would be off most of the time.
I’ve had some interesting things happen in my life, from being heralded as a genius in grade school, to flunking out of college, to running for political office, to being hit by a fire & rescue truck, to falling asleep on the highway, to this blog.
I grew up in a good family, with a roof over my head, toy in my hand, and a spoon in my mouth (with food, mind you). My parents are of two different faiths, but they are not all that different. You see, my mother believes in a golden man that sat under a tree, the other believes in a man that received a golden bible under a bunch of trees. Both are calming and enlightening, both believe that love is what holds this world together, and that a fulfilling life cannot occur without a true utilitarian purpose driving it. If Jesus and Buddha were to meet on the street, I’m pretty sure they would be homeboys.
I learned how to meditate for peace, and pray for clarity. I learned the value of faith and actionable love from Jesus, and the value of critical selfless thought from the Buddha.
My parents are different. My mother comes from Thailand, my dad from the Southwest United States. Being Asian, my mom’s side of the family ate Jasmine rice and eggs. My dad’s side ate potatoes and hamburger meat. My mom taught me of the way of the Buddha. My dad taught me the way of the Jesus. My mom loves elephants. My dad loves pigs. How I came out ok is beyond me. :/
If there is one important thing that I have learned from my family, is that different is OK. People may come from a different backgrounds, different faiths, different families, or different parts of the world, but no matter the differences, we are all the same. We are all alike. We are all one.
What would happen if I had been a movie star? I don’t know. But the more I think of it, the more I just hope that I wouldn’t be too much different than I am now. My life may not always be that exciting, but I think I like it the way it is. No one I know can say that they too have lost teeth playing chicken with a fire & rescue truck. No one I know can say that they grew up Buddhist/Mormon. No one I know can say that they know the first thing about buying bags of the highest quality rice, or the best rice cooker. No one I know (my age) tried running for local office. No one I know (my age) reads political and economic articles for fun.
If there were any odder creature than I, I would know of it. But alas, I do not know of it. Maybe uniqueness is my gift, and acceptance my calling. Perhaps with hope and time, I can know for sure what I am meant for here on this earth. Perhaps I can see what I really am, and who I am meant to serve. Or maybe I will be readied to recognize my role when the time comes for me.
Or maybe I already am who I am meant to be.