This series is NOT just talking about others. Chances are it also is talking about YOU!
In "UNITED we STAND"(1)and (2), we pointed out that UNITY is our savior. We also pointed to our own deficiencies causing dis-unity. They include BIG deficiencies: a) our not knowing the fundamental tools of democracy, e.g. Robert's Rules of Order, & b) our lack of political maturity since we are mostly 1st & 2nd generation immigrants.
Today, we discuss our minor deficiencies that are just as harmful to ourselves. These deficiencies are particularly prominent among leaders of our organizations. I may not be a leader, but I have some of these defects.
c) AsAms, especially recent immigrants, are
often conditioned .....
I) to think that the size of the pie for us is fixed i.e. we think "zero sum" when it comes to "Asian share" of the pie in America. So one AsAm's gain may be viewed as my loss. We should view it as "my gain".
II) to think that defeating a fellow AsAm is easy but winning against the the prejudices of the majority and gaining equal opportunity is impossible. Too few of us have the courage to fight for what is right. We are addicted to self-delusional "success" - if we don't fight, then we don't lose. :-(
iii) to stay within our own small comfort zone. So we tend to want to "be the big fish in a small pond, rather than "be a much bigger fish swimming in the ocean."
iv) to be afraid of being fair to fellow Asians, because we think our BIG WHITE BROTHERS are watching our loyalty to America. We rather err on the side of rating fellow Asians too low to prove our "non-Asianness.". Such thoughts are irrational. But they are prevalent.
v) to think that a coalition will hurt one's own organization's self-determination. While that deduction is true, we should think about the much BIGGER GAINS coming from a coalition. Our coalition needs a good set of bylaws so that we can win our rights with the minimum sacrifice in our organization's sovereignty.
vi) to prefer to have the other people fighting the BIG battles for us, because we have had little such experience. While that is understandable, having a coalition will pool our talents & resources. When we pool our resources, we can WIN big battles! In the U.S., if a community can't fight for itself, it'll forever be stepped on.
vii) to be afraid of being outshone by other AsAms in a coalition. Why should we be so small? We need better AsAm leaders to lead us to equal citizenship quickly.
viii) to have a lot of jealousy and complaints against other AsAms orgs. We often complain that the other groups have over-claimed their share of the success without acknowledging our share of contribution. We fail to realize a universal truth: Victory has a thousand fathers, defeat is always an orphan. For heaven's sake, issue our own press releases, if we are that upset by others' claims. :-) Be bigger persons. Have a bigger heart.
Let's all try to improve ourselves to be better supporters of UNITING the whole AsAm community. We'll all have so much to gain.
Harvard's "whole RACE" admissions policy says that AsAms are less worthy in personality traits. I strongly disagree. Click here to read a wonderful NY Times Opinion, entitled "Harvard Is Wrong That Asians Have Terrible Personalities", authored by Wesley Yang.
Nevertheless, we do need to overcome many of our weaknesses, conditioned by our experience as immigrants and members of a small & weak minority.
Parents must set POSITIVE examples for our children.
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